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Title: The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2
Author: Baerlein, Henry, 1875-1960
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2" ***

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_First Published 1922_
_[All Rights Reserved]_





 VII. FURTHER MONTHS OF TRIAL (1919-1921)                             208

VIII. YUGOSLAVIA'S FRONTIERS (1921)                                   272


     INDEX                                                            411







With the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian army, the Serbs and Croats
and Slovenes saw that one other obstacle to their long-hoped-for union
had vanished. The dream of centuries was now a little nearer towards
fulfilment. But many obstacles remained. There would presumably be
opposition on the part of the Italian and Roumanian Governments, for it
was too much to hope that these would waive the treaties they had wrung
from the Entente, and would consent to have their boundaries regulated
by the wishes of the people living in disputed lands. Some individual
Italians and Roumanians might even be less reasonable than their
Governments. If Austria and Hungary were in too great a chaos to have
any attitude as nations, there would be doubtless local opposition to
the Yugoslavs. And as soon as the Magyars had found their feet they
would be sure to bombard the Entente with protestations, setting forth
that subject nationalities were intended by the Creator to be subject
nationalities. A large pamphlet, _The Hungarian Nation_, was issued at
Buda-Pest in February 1920. It displayed a very touching solicitude for
the Croats, whom the Serbs would be sure to tyrannize most horribly. If
only Croatia would remain in the Hungarian State, says Mr. A. Kovács,
Ministerial Councillor in the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, then
the Magyars would instantly bestow on her both Bosnia (which belonged to
the Empire as a whole) and Dalmatia (which belonged to Austria). That is
the worst of being a Ministerial Statistical Councillor. Another
gentleman, Professor Dr. Fodor, has the bright idea that "the race is
the multitude of individuals who inhabit one uniform region." ...
Passing to Yugoslavia's domestic obstacles, it was impossible to think
that all the Serbs and Croats and Slovenes would forthwith subscribe to
the Declaration of Corfu and become excellent Yugoslavs. Some would be
honestly unable to throw off what centuries had done to them, and
realize that if they had been made so different from their brothers,
they were brothers still. For ten days there was a partly domestic,
partly foreign obstacle, but as the King of Montenegro did not take his
courage in both hands and descend on the shores of that country with an
Italian army, he lost his chance for ever.


There was indeed far less trouble from the Roumanian than from the
Italian side. On October 29, 1918, one could say that all military power
in the Banat was at an end. The Hungarian army took what food it wanted
and made off, leaving everywhere, in barracks and in villages, guns,
rifles, ammunition. Vainly did the officers attempt to keep their men
together. And scenes like this were witnessed all over the Banat. Then
suddenly, on Sunday, November 3, the Roumanians, that is the Roumanians
living in the country, made attacks on many villages, and the Roumanians
of Transylvania acted in a similar fashion. With the Hungarian equipment
and with weapons of their own they started out to terrorize. Among their
targets were the village notaries, in whom was vested the administrative
authority. At Old Moldava, on the Danube, they decapitated the notary, a
man called Kungel, and threw his head into the river. At a village near
Anina they buried the notary except for his head, which they proceeded
to kick until he died. Nor did they spare the notaries of Roumanian
origin, which made it seem as if this outbreak of lawlessness--directed
from who knows where--had the high political end of making the country
appear to the Entente in such a desperate condition that an army must be
introduced, and as the Serbs were thought to be a long way off, with the
railways and the roads before them ruined by the Austrians, it looked as
if Roumania's army was the only one available. On the Monday and the
Tuesday these Roumanian freebooters, who had all risen on the same day
in regions extending over hundreds of square kilometres, started
plundering the large estates. Near Bela Crkva, on the property of Count
Bissingen-Nippenburg, a German, they did damage to the sum of eight and
a half million crowns. At the monastery of Mešica, near Veršac,
the Roumanians of a neighbouring village devastated the archimandrate's
large library, sacked the chapel and smashed his bee-hives, so that they
were not impelled by poverty and hunger. In the meantime there had been
formed at Veršac a National Roumanian Military Council. The placard,
printed of course in Roumanian, is dated Veršac, November 4, and is
addressed to "The Roumanian Officers and Soldiers born in the Banat,"
and announces that they have formed the National Council. It is a
Council, we are told, in which one can have every confidence; moreover,
it is prepared to co-operate in every way with a view to maintaining
order _în lăuntra şi în afară_ (both internal and external).
The subjoined names of the committee are numerous; they range from
Lieut.-Colonel Gavriil Mihailov and Major Petru Jucu downwards to a
dozen privates. The archimandrate, who fortunately happened to be at his
house in Veršac, begged his friend Captain Singler of the
_gendarmerie_ to take some steps. About twenty Hungarian officers
undertook to go, with a machine gun, to the monastery on November 7; at
eleven on the previous night Mihailov ordered the captain to come to see
him; he wanted to know by whom this expedition had been authorized. The
captain answered that Mešica was in his district, and that he had no
animus against Roumanians but only against plunderers. After his arrival
at Mešica the trouble was brought to an end. Nor was it long before
the Serbian troops, riding up through their own country at a rate which
no one had foreseen, crossed the Danube and occupied the Banat, in
conjunction with the French. The rapidity of this advance astounded the
Roumanians; they gaped like Lavengro when he wondered how the stones
ever came to Stonehenge.... When the Serbian commandant at Veršac
invited these enterprising Roumanian officers to an interview he was
asked by one of them, Major Iricu, whether or not they were to be
interned. "What made you print that placard?" asked the commandant; and
they replied that their object had been to preserve order. They had not
imagined, so they said, that the Serbs would come so quickly. "I will be
glad," said the commandant, "if you will not do this kind of thing any


Italy was not in a good humour. She was well aware that in the countries
of her Allies there was a marked tendency to underestimate her
overwhelming triumphs of the last days of the War. Perhaps those
exploits would have been more difficult if Austria's army had not
suffered a deterioration, but still one does not take 300,000 prisoners
every day. Some faithful foreigners were praising Italy--and she
deserved it--for having persevered at all after Caporetto. That disaster
had been greatly due to filling certain regiments with several thousand
munition workers who had taken part in a revolt at Turin, and then
concentrating these regiments in the Caporetto salient, which was the
most vulnerable sector in the eastern Italian front. How much of the
disaster was due to the Vatican will perhaps never be known. But as for
the uneducated, easily impressed peasants of the army, it was wonderful
that all, except the second army and a small part of the third,
retreated with such discipline in view of what they had been brooding on
before the day of Caporetto. They had such vague ideas what they were
fighting for, and if the Socialists kept saying that the English paid
their masters to continue with the War--how were they to know what was
the truth? The British regiments, who were received not merely with
cigars and cigarettes and flowers and with little palm crosses which
their trustful little weavers had blessed, but also with showers of
stones as they passed through Italian villages in 1917, must have
sometimes understood and pardoned. Then the troops were in distress
about their relatives, for things were more and more expensive, and
where would it end? In face of these discouragements it was most
admirable that the army and the nation rallied and reconstituted their


Of course one should not generalize regarding nations, except in vague
or very guarded terms; but possibly it would not be unjust to say that
the Italians, apart from those of northern provinces and of Sardinia,
have too much imagination to make first-class soldiers. And they are too
sensitive, as you could see in an Italian military hospital. Their task
was also not a trifling one--to stand for all those months in territory
so forbidding. And there would have been more sympathy with the Italians
in the autumn of 1918 if they had not had such very crushing triumphs
when the War was practically over. What was the condition of the
Austrian army? About October 15, in one section of the front--35
kilometres separating the extreme points from one another--the following
incidents occurred: the Army Command at St. Vitto issued an order to the
officers invariably to carry a revolver, since the men were now
attacking them; a Magyar regiment revolted and marched away, under the
command of a Second-Lieutenant whom they had elected; at Stino di
Livenza, while the officers were having their evening meal, two hand
grenades were thrown into the mess by soldiers; at Codroipo a regiment
revolted, attacked the officers' mess, and wounded several of the people
there, including the general in command. Such was the Austrian army in
those days; and it was only human if comparisons were made--not making
any allowances for Italy's economic difficulties, her coal, her social
and her religious difficulties--but merely bald comparisons were made
between these wholesale victories against the Austrians as they were in
the autumn of 1918 and the scantier successes of the previous years. In
September 1916 when the eighth or ninth Italian offensive had pierced
the Austrian front and the Italians reached a place called Provachina,
Marshal Boroević had only one reserve division. The heavy artillery
was withdrawn, the light artillery was packed up, the company commanders
having orders to retire in the night. Only a few rapid-fire batteries
were left with a view to deceiving the enemy. But as the Italians
appeared to the Austrians to have no heart to come on--there may have
been other reasons--the artillery was unpacked and the Austrians
returned to their old front. In May 1917, between Monte Gabriele and
Doberdo, Boroević had no reserve battalion; his troops, in full
marching kit, had to defend the whole front: they were able to do so by
proceeding now to this sector and now to that. No army is immune from
serious mistakes--"We won in 1871," said Bismarck, "although we made
very many mistakes, because the French made even more"--but the
Yugoslavs in the Austrian army could not forget such incidents as that
connected with the name of Professor Pivko. This gentleman, who is now
living at Maribor, was made the subject of a book, _Der Verrath bei
Carzano_ ("The Treachery near Carzano"), which was published by the
Austrian General Staff. His battalion commander was a certain
Lieut.-Colonel Vidale, who was a first cousin of the C.O., General
Vidale; and when an orderly overheard Pivko, who is a Slovene, and
several Czech officers, discussing a plan which would open the front to
the Italians, he ran all the way to the General's headquarters and gave
the information. The General telephoned to his cousin, who said that the
allegation was absurd and that Pivko was one of his best officers. The
orderly was therefore thrown into prison, and Pivko, having turned off
the electricity from the barbed wires and arranged matters with a
Bosnian regiment, made his way to the Italians. The suggestion is that,
owing to the lie of the land and the weak Austrian forces, it was
possible for the Italians to reach Trent; anyhow the Austrians were
amazed when they ceased to advance and the German regiment which was in
Trent did not have to come out to defend it. Everyone in the Austrian
army recognized that the Italian artillery was pre-eminent and that the
officers were most gallant, especially in the early part of the War,
when one would frequently find an officer lying dead with no men near
him. But such episodes as the above-mentioned--it would be possible, but
wearisome, to describe others--could not but have some effect on the
opposing army, and would be recalled when the Italians sang their final
panegyric. The reasons for the Austrian _débâcle_ on the Piave are as
follows: when the Allied troops had reached Rann, Susegana, Ponte di
Piave and Montiena, the Austrian High Command decided on October 24 to
throw against them the 36th Croat division, the 21st Czech, the 44th
Slovene, a German division and the 12th Croat Regiment of Uhlans.
However, the 16th and 116th Croat, the 30th Regiment of Czech Landwehr
and the 71st Slovene Landwehr Regiment declared that they would not
fight against the French and English, and, instead of advancing,
retired. The 78th Croat Regiment, as well as three other Czech
Regiments, abandoned the front, after having made a similar declaration.
At the same time the 96th and 135th Croat Regiments, in agreement with
the Czech detachments, made a breach for the Italians on the left wing
at Stino di Livenza, while Slav marching formations revolted at Udine.
The Austro-Hungarian troops consequently had to retreat.... No one
expects of the Italian army, as a whole, that it will be on a level
with the best, but when the British officers who were with the Serbs on
the Salonica front compare their reminiscences with those of the British
officers on the Italian front, it is improbable that garlands will be
strewn for the Italians. Towards the end of October a plan was adopted
by the British and Italian staffs for capturing the island of Papadopoli
in the Piave; this island, about three miles in length, formed the
outpost line of the Austrian defences. On the night of October 23-24 an
attack was to be made by the 2nd H.A.C., while three companies of the
1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers were to act as reserve. This operation is most
vividly described by the Senior Chaplain of the 7th Division, the Rev.
E. C. Crosse, D.S.O., M.C.;[1] and he says nothing as to what occurred
on that part of the island which was to be seized by the Italians. Well,
nothing had occurred, for the Italians did not get across and when the
water rose they said they could do nothing on that night. These are the
words of Mr. Crosse's footnote: "The obvious question, 'What was going
to be done with the farther half of the island?' we have purposely left
undiscussed here. This half was outside the area of the 7th Division,
and as such it falls outside the scope of this work for the time being.
The subsequent capture of the whole island (on the following night) by
the 7th Division was not part of the original plan." Afterwards, when a
crossing was made to the mainland, the left flank was unsupported, as
the Italians did not cross the river, and thus the 23rd Division had its
flank exposed. A belief is entertained that the Italian cavalry is one
of the best in the world; evidently it is not the best, for on that
Piave front, where thousands of Italian cavalry were available, the only
ones who put in their appearance early in the battle were three hundred
very war-stained Northampton Yeomanry.

"The record of the Italian troops in the field renders unnecessary an
assertion of their courage," says Mr. Anthony Dell;[2] "for reckless
bravery in assault none surpasses them." But when you have said that you
have nearly summed up their military virtues, for discipline is not
their strong suit, and they have little sense of responsibility. On the
other hand, we must remember their admirable patience, but the great
mass of the people have not attained the level of Christianity; they are
savage both in heart and mind, with no outlook wider than that of the
family. It is the Italian proletariat which is judged by the Yugoslavs,
whose otherwise acute discernment has been warped by the unhappy
circumstances of the time. Indifferent to the fact that he himself is a
compound of physical energy and oriental mysticism, the Yugoslav has
become inclined to contemplate merely the physical side of the Italian,
and for the most part that portion of it which has to do with war. The
Italian long-sightedness and prudence and business capacity are ignored
save in so far as they delayed the country's entrance into the Great
War. The sensitiveness and artistic attributes of the Italians, who gaze
with aching hearts upon the glories of a sunset, are but rarely felt by
Serbs, who gather brushwood for the fire that is to roast their
sucking-pig and who sit down to watch the operation, haply with their
backs turned to the sunset. The Yugoslav, especially the Serb, is a man
from the Middle Ages brought suddenly into the twentieth century. With
his heroic heart and his wonderful strength he fails to understand those
people who, on account of one reason or another, have no passion for
war. And as the military deeds of the Italians have had such effect upon
the minds of the Yugoslavs, we have alluded to them at a greater length
than would otherwise have been profitable. The Yugoslavs despise the
Italians. Also the Italians, who concern themselves with diplomacy, are
conscious that their keen wits and their long training in the wiles of
the civilized world, their old traditions and their prestige give them a
considerable advantage over the Yugoslav diplomat, so that this kind of
Italian despises the Yugoslav. He knows very well that the French or
British statesmen do not, amid the smoke of after-dinner cigars, esteem
his case by the same standard as that which they apply to the case which
the ordinary Yugoslav diplomat presents to them in office hours. As for
the wider Italian circles, one must fear that the old hatred of Germany,
because the Germans seemed to despise them, will henceforward colour the
sentiments with which they regard the Yugoslavs. It is a state of things
between these neighbours which other people cannot but view with


There was in Yugoslav naval circles no very cordial feeling for the
Italians. The Austrian dreadnought, _Viribus Unitis_, was torpedoed in a
most ingenious fashion by two resolute officers, Lieutenant Raffaele
Paolucci, a doctor, and Major Raffaele Rossetti. In October 1917 they
independently invented a very small and light compressed-air motor which
could be used to propel a mine into an enemy harbour. They submitted
their schemes to the Naval Inventions Board, were given an opportunity
of meeting, and after three months had brought their invention into a
practical form. The naval authorities, however, refused to allow them to
go on any expedition till they both were skilled long-distance swimmers.
Six months had thus to be dedicated entirely to swimming. At the end of
that time they were supplied with a motor-boat and two bombs of a
suitable size for blowing up large airships. To these bombs were fixed
the small motors by means of which they were to be propelled into the
port of Pola, while the two men, swimming by their side, would control
and guide them. Just after nightfall on October 31, 1918, the raiders
arrived outside Pola.

Were they aware that anything had happened in the Austro-Hungarian navy?
On October 26 there appeared in the _Hrvatski List_ of Pola a summons to
the Yugoslavs, made by the Executive Committee of Zagreb, which had been
elected on the 23rd. This notice in the newspaper recommended the
formation of local committees, and asked the Yugoslavs in the meantime
to eschew all violence. When Rear-Admiral (then Captain) Methodius
Koch--whose mother was an Englishwoman--read this at noon he thought it
was high time to do something. Koch had always been one of the most
patriotically Slovene officers of the Austrian navy. On various
occasions during the War he had attempted to hand over his ships to the
Italians, and when some other Austrian commander signalled to ask him
why he was cruising so near to the Italian coast he invariably answered,
"I have my orders." He found it, however, impossible to give himself up,
as the Italians whom he sighted, no matter how numerous they were, would
never allow him to come within signalling range. Koch had frequently
spoken to his Slovene sailors, preparing them for the day of liberation,
and he was naturally very popular among them. Let us not forget that
such an officer, true to his own people, was in constant peril of being


On the afternoon of that same day, October 26th, when the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, with its army and navy, was collapsing, Admiral
Horthy, an energetic, honest, if not brilliant Magyar, the Commander of
the Fleet at Pola, called to his flag-ship, the _Viribus Unitis_, one
officer representing each nationality of the Empire. Koch was there on
behalf of the Slovenes. The Admiral announced that a wholesale mutiny
had been planned for November 1st, during which the ships' treasuries
would be robbed, and he asked these officers to collaborate with him in
preventing it. Koch, at the Admiral's request, wrote out a speech that
he would deliver to the Slovenes, and this document, with one or two
notes in the Admiral's writing, is in Koch's possession. "If you will
not listen to your Admirals, then," so ran the speech, "you should
listen to our national leaders." He addressed himself to the men, of
course in the Slovene language, as a fellow-countryman. He begged them
to keep quiet. He deprecated all plundering, firstly in order that their
good name should not be sullied, and also pointing out that the
neighbouring population was overwhelmingly Slovene. Out of 45,000 men
only 2000 could leave by rail; he therefore asked them all to stay
peacefully at Pola. Meanwhile the local committee had been formed; Koch
was, secretly, a member of it, and on the 28th, Rear-Admiral Cicoli, a
kindly old gentleman who was port-commandant, advised Koch to join it as
liaison-officer. It was on the 28th at eight in the morning that the
officers who had been selected to calm the different nationalities
started to go round the fleet. That officer who spoke to the Germans
declared that one must not abandon hopes of victory, and that anyhow the
War would soon be over. Count Thun, who discoursed to the Czechs, was
ill-advised enough to make the Deity, their Kaiser and their oath the
main subjects of his remarks, so that he was more than once in great
danger of being thrown overboard. Koch went first of all to the _Viribus
Unitis_, but the mutiny had begun; a bugle was sounded for a general
assembly; it was ignored, and the crew let it be known that they were
weary of the old game, which consisted of the officers egging on one
nation against another. This mutiny had not yet spread to the remaining
ships, and on them the speeches were delivered. At the National Assembly
that evening Koch was chosen as chief of National Defence; he thereupon
went to Cicoli and formally asked to be allowed to join the committee.
When Vienna refused its assent, Koch resigned his commission. By this
time all discipline had gone by the board, no one thought of such a
thing as office work and, amid the chaos, sailors' councils appeared,
with which Koch had to treat. The situation was made no easier by the
presence of large numbers of Germans, Magyars and Italians, of whom the
latter also formed a National Council. On the 30th, Koch, as chief of
National Defence, asked Admirals Cicoli and Horthy to come at 9 p.m. to
the Admiralty, with a view to the transference of the military power. At
7.30, in the municipal building, there was a joint meeting of the
Yugoslav and the Italian National Councils, and so many speeches were
made that the Admirals had to be asked to postpone their appearance for
two hours; and at eleven o'clock, with the street well guarded against a
possible outbreak on the part of any loyal troops, the whole Yugoslav
committee, accompanied by one member of the Italian committee, went to
the Admiralty. Horthy had gone home, but Cicoli and his whole staff were
waiting. The old gentleman was informed that he no longer had any power
in his hands; he was asked to give up his post to Koch, and this he was
prepared to do. "It is not so hard for me now," he said, "as I have
meanwhile received a telegram from His Majesty, ordering me," and at
this point he produced the paper, "to give up Pola to the Yugoslavs."
The affair had apparently been settled between nine and eleven o'clock.
Cicoli was ready to sign the protocol, but out of courtesy to a
chivalrous old man this was left undone; after all there were witnesses

During the night of October 30th-31st, a radiogram, destined for President
Wilson, was composed. "Together with the Czechs, the Slovaks and the Poles,
and in understanding," it said, "with the Italians, we have taken over the
fleet and Pola, the war-harbour, and the forts." It asked for the dispatch
of representatives of such Entente States as were disinterested in the
local national question. But now a telegram was received from Zagreb,
announcing that Dr. Ante Tresić-Pavičić, of the chief National
Council, would be at Pola at 8 a.m. and that, pending his arrival, no
wireless was to be sent out. Dr. Tresić-Pavičić,[3] poet and
deputy for the lower Dalmatian islands, had always been, in spite of his
indifferent health, one of the most strenuous fighters for Yugoslavia. Two
years of the War he spent in an Austrian prison, but on his release he
managed to travel up and down Croatia and Dalmatia, inciting the Yugoslav
sailors to revolt; many of them had already read a speech by this
silver-tongued deputy in the Reichsrath, a speech of which the reading and
circulation had been forbidden as a crime of high treason. About 9 a.m. of
the 31st there was a meeting, on board the _Viribus Unitis_, between
Tresić-Pavičić and Koch. There was a brief ceremony, the leader of
the Sailors' Council handing over the vessel to the deputy, as representing
the National Council of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Admiral Horthy, in his
cabin, likewise drew up a _procès-verbal_ to the same effect, saying that
he was authorized to do this by the Emperor, and he supported his statement
by the production of a wireless message. Koch urged on the doctor the
necessity of sending the above-mentioned wireless to Wilson. "The news of
this great event," says Tresić-Pavičić in an article in the
_Balkan Review_ (May 1919), "was dispatched to all the Powers by wireless."
But unfortunately he seems, whether on his own responsibility or that of
Zagreb, to have prevented Koch from sending it on that day. Captain Janko
de Vuković Podkapelski was then placed in command of the fleet, though
the Sailors' Council at first declined to accept him. He was at heart a
patriot, but had taken no active part in Yugoslav propaganda and, unluckily
for himself, he had been compelled to accompany Count Tisza in his recent
ill-starred tour of Bosnia, when the Magyar leader made a last attempt to
browbeat the local Slavs. Yet, as no other high officer was available, Koch
told the Sailors' Council that they simply must acknowledge Vuković, and
at 4 p.m. he took over the command, the Yugoslav flag being hoisted on all
the vessels simultaneously, to the accompaniment of the Croatian national
anthem and the firing of salutes.


Three hours previously to this a torpedo-boat, with Paolucci and
Rossetti on board, had sailed from Venice; and at ten o'clock in the
evening, as Paolucci tells us,[4] he and his companion, after a certain
amount of embracing, handshaking, saluting and loyal exclamations,
plunged into the water. The first obstacle was a wooden pier upon which
sentries were marching to and fro; this was safely passed by means of
two hats shaped like bottles, which Paolucci and Rossetti now put on.
The bombs were submerged, and thus the sentry saw nothing but a couple
of bottles being tossed about by the waves. A row of wooden beams,
bearing a thin electric wire, had then to be negotiated, and the last
obstacle consisted of half a dozen steel nets which had laboriously to
be disconnected from the cables which held them. It was now nearly six
o'clock; the two men cautiously approached the _Viribus Unitis_ and
fixed one of their bombs just below the water-line, underneath the
ladder conducting to the deck. Paolucci simply records, without comment,
that the ship was illuminated; perhaps he and his friend were too tired
to make the obvious deduction that the hourly-expected end of the War
had really arrived. A number of officers from other ships had remained
on the _Viribus Unitis_ after the previous evening's ceremony; but the
look-out, seeing the Italians in the water, must have thought it was
eccentric of them to come swimming out at this hour to join in the
festivities. A motor-launch soon picked them up and they were brought on
board the flag-ship. "Viva l'Italia!" they shouted, for they were proud
of dying for their country. "Viva l'Italia!" replied some of the crew to
this pair of allied officers. When they were conducted to Captain
Vuković they told him that his vessel would in a short time be blown
up. The order was given to abandon ship, and Paolucci and his friend
relate[5] that when they asked the captain if they might also try to
save themselves he shook them both by the hand, saying that they were
brave men and that they deserved to live. So they plunged into the water
and swam rapidly away, but a few minutes later they were picked up by a
launch and taken back, the captain having suddenly begun to suspect,
they said, that the story of the bomb was untrue. They were again made
to walk up the ladder, under which lay the explosives. It was then 6.28.
The ladder was crowded with sailors who were also returning to their
ship. "Run, run for your lives," shouted Paolucci. At last his foot
touched the deck, and then he and Rossetti ran as fast as they could to
the stern. Hardly had they got there than a terrific explosion rent the
air, and a column of water shot three hundred feet straight up into the
sky. Paolucci and Rossetti were again in the water, and looking back
they saw a man scramble up the side of the vessel, which had now turned
completely over, with her keel uppermost. There on the keel stood this
man, with folded arms. It was Vuković, who had insisted on going down
with his ship. About fifty other men were killed.

When Koch came out of his house, feeling that there must be no more
delay in sending the radiogram to President Wilson, a young Italian
Socialist ran up to him in the street and told him of the fate of the
flagship. As the news spread everyone thought it must be the work of
some Austrian officers. It was feared that they would explode the
arsenal, and that would have meant the destruction of the whole town.
Amid the uproar and chaos, Koch had placards distributed, saying that
the _Viribus Unitis_ had been torpedoed by two Italians, who were in
custody. And then the wireless was sent to Paris.

The two officers were taken to the Admiralty and then placed on the
dreadnought _Prince Eugene_, it being rumoured that the Italians of Pola
intended to rescue them. Subsequently Koch and other officers, together
with Dr. Stanić, President of the Italian National Council, went out
to see the prisoners. Stanić was left alone with them for as long as
he wished. And when Koch saw them--he did not then shake hands--and
asked if they knew what they had done, "I know it," replied Rossetti
rather arrogantly. Paolucci's demeanour was more modest.

"I was your friend all through the War," said Koch, "and now you sink
our ships. I can only assume that you were ignorant of what had taken

They said that that was so.

"But if you had known," said the Admiral to Rossetti, "would you have
done this?"

"Yes," he answered. "I am an officer. I had my orders to blow up the
ship and I would have obeyed them."

Koch had undertaken that if it turned out that they were unaware of the
ship's transference to the Yugoslavs he would kiss them both. He did so,
and allowed them to communicate with Italy by wireless.

Never, says Koch, will the unpleasant taste of those kisses leave his
mouth. The men were officers; their words could not be doubted. But as
they must surely have been in Venice for at least a day or two before
October 31, it seems extraordinary that they did not hear, via Triest,
of what the Emperor Charles was doing with his navy. If only they had
perfected their invention and learned to swim a trifle sooner there
would be no shadow cast on their achievement, but the Yugoslavs--who had
never seen any sort of Italian naval attack on Pola during the
War--could not be blamed for thinking that the disappearance of their
_Viribus Unitis_ would be viewed with equanimity by the Italians....
With regard to the other vessels, it was arranged in Paris that they
should proceed, under the white flag, to Corfu with Yugoslav commanders;
but this was found impossible, as they were undermanned. Part of the
fleet arrived at Kotor and was placed at the disposal of the commander
of the Yugoslav detachment of the Allied forces which had come from
Macedonia. A serious episode occurred at Pola, where on November 5 an
Italian squadron arrived and demanded the surrender of the ships. The
Yugoslav commander succeeded in sending by wireless a strong protest to
Paris against this barefaced violation of the agreement. The Italian
commander, Admiral Cagni, likewise sent a protest, but Clemenceau upheld
the Yugoslavs. They were absolutely masters of the ex-Austro-Hungarian
fleet; it rested solely with them either to sink it or hand it over to
the Allies in good condition. The Yugoslavs did not sink the fleet,
because they wished to show their loyalty to, and confidence in, the
justice of the Allies. They never suspected at that time that the ships
would not be shared at least equally between themselves and the
Italians. But in December 1919 the Supreme Council in Paris allotted to
the Yugoslavs twelve disarmed torpedo-boats for policing and patrolling
their coasts.


Admiral Cagni was invited by the Yugoslavs to enter the harbour of Pola.
But for two and a half days he hesitated outside and heavily bombarded
the hill-fortress of Barbarica, which had been abandoned. At last he
made up his mind to risk a landing. The Italian girls of Pola, dressed
in white, came down in a procession to the port; their arms were full of
flowers for the Italian sailors. And the first men who disembarked were
buried in flowers and kissed and kissed before the girls perceived that,
by a prudent Italian arrangement, this advance guard consisted of men of
the Czecho-Slovak Legion. The first care of the Italians at Pola was not
to ascertain the whereabouts of the munition depots; they made for the
naval museum, where trophies from the battle of Vis in 1866 were
preserved. These they removed, as well as whatever took their fancy at
the Arsenal. Among their booty was a silver dinner service which it had
been customary to use on occasions of Imperial visits. An Italian
officer appeared on the _Radetzky_. Very roughly he asked an officer who
he was. "I am the commander," said this first-lieutenant. "No! no!" said
the other, "I am that." But the Italians for the most part avoided going
on board the ships.... Admiral Cagni himself was very ill at ease, but
grew noticeably more confident as he observed the utter demoralization
of Pola. His correspondence likewise underwent the appropriate changes.
While Koch was in command of 45,000 men, Cagni wrote to "His Excellency
the most illustrious Signor Ammiraglio"; when the numbers were reduced
to 20,000 the style of address was "Illustrious Signor Ammiraglio"; when
they fell to 10,000 it became "Al Signor Ammiraglio"; when only 5000
remained a letter began with the word "Ammiraglio!" and when the last
man had left Pola and Koch was alone, Cagni sent word through his
adjutant that he knew no Admiral Koch but merely a Signor Koch.


Talking of numbers, one may mention that the Yugoslavs formed about 65
per cent. of the Austro-Hungarian navy, as one would naturally expect
from the sea-faring population of Dalmatia and Istria. In the technical
branches of the service only about 40 per cent. were Yugoslavs, for a
preference was given to Germans and Magyars. Out of 116 chief engineers
only two were Yugoslavs. Serbo-Croat was an obligatory language; but
German, as in the army, was the language of command. Thus one sees that,
in spite of not being favoured, the Yugoslavs of the Adriatic, who are
natural sailors, constituted more than half the personnel of the navy.
"These Slav people," writes Mr. Hilaire Belloc,[6] who took the trouble
to go to the Adriatic with a view to solving the local problems, "these
Slav people have only tentatively approached the sea. Its traffic was
never native to them." If he had continued a little way down the coast
he would have seen many and many a neat little house whose owners are
retired sea-captains. "They are not mariners," says Mr. Belloc. If he
had made a small excursion into history he would have learned that
Venice--since it was to her own advantage--made an exception of
Dalmatia's shipping industry, and while she was placing obstacles along
the roads that a Dalmatian might wish to take, allowed the time-honoured
industries of the sea to be developed. Such fine sailors were the
Dalmatians that Benedetto Pesaro, the Venetian Admiral against the Turks
in the fifteenth century, deplored the fact that his galleys were not
fully manned by them, instead of those "Lombardi" whom he despised.
"They are," says Mr. John Leyland,[7] the naval authority--they are
"pre-eminently a maritime race. The circumstances of their geography,
and in a chief degree the wonderful configuration of their coast-line,
with its sheltered waters and admirable anchorages, made them
sea-farers.... The proud Venetians knew them as pirates and marauders
long ago." And "there has never been a better seaman," adds Mr. Leyland,
"than the pirate turned trader." In 1780 the island of Brač had forty
vessels, Lussin a hundred, and Kotor, which in the second half of the
eighteenth century quadrupled her mercantile marine, had a much larger
fleet than either of them. The best-known dockyards were those at
Korčula and Trogir, while the great Overseas Sailing Ship Navigation
Company at Peljesac (Sabioncello) occupied an important position in the
world of trade. The company's fleet of large sailing vessels was of
native construction; both crews and captains were natives of the
country, so that it was in every way the best representative of the
Dalmatian mercantile marine of the period. When the Treaty of Vienna in
1815 gave Venice, Istria and the Eastern Adriatic to the Habsburgs the
vessels plying in those waters were very largely Slav. And with the
substitution of steam the Dalmatians are still holding their own, with
this difference, that the ships are now built, even as they are manned,
not by nobles and the wealthy _bourgeoisie_, but by men who come from
modest sea-faring or peasant families. In the Austrian mercantile marine
German capital formed 47·82 per cent., Italian capital 19·37 per cent.
and Slav capital 31·80 per cent. One of these Dalmatian Slavs,
Mihanović, going out in poverty to the Argentine, has followed with
such success the shipbuilding of his ancestors that he is now among the
chief millionaires of Buenos Aires. With regard to fishing, there are
along the Istrian and Dalmatian coast more than 5000 small vessels which
give employment to 19,000 fishermen, of whom only 1000 are citizens of
Italy. But Mr. Belloc says that these Slav people have only tentatively
approached the sea, that its traffic was never native to them, and that
they are not mariners. It is marvellous that you can be paid for writing
that sort of stuff.... By Mr. Belloc's side is the Marchese Donghi, who
in the _Fortnightly Review_ of June 1922 says: "It is superfluous to add
that everything which has to do with navigation [in Dalmatia] is
entirely in the hands of the Italians." But I think it is superfluous to
contradict a gentleman who ingenuously believes that Dalmatia is largely
Italian because on our maps we have hitherto used Italian place-names.
Will he say that the population of Praha is not Czech because on our
maps that capital is commonly called Prague? It pleases the Marchese to
be facetious about what he describes as "that queer thing called the
Srba Hrvata i Slovenca Kralji (Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and
Slovenes)"; he should have said "Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca."
He says that in Serbia "no industry is possible," whereas in one single
town, Lescovac, there are no less than eleven textile besides other
factories. He says that one-third of the population of Dalmatia is
Italian, and "almost exclusively the nobility and the upper
_bourgeoisie_." I suppose that is why more than 700 of Dalmatia's
leading citizens were deported by the Italians after the Great War. He
says many other nonsensical things, and sums it all up by telling us of
the "bewildered incomprehension" of the Adriatic problem!


Whether rightly or wrongly, the Yugoslavs had formed their opinion of
the Italian sailors, an opinion which dated from the time of Tegetthoff
and had not undergone much modification by the incidents of this War.
They remembered what had happened when they cruised outside Italian
ports; they knew very probably that the British had on more than one
occasion to break through the boom outside Taranto harbour, and they may
have read[8] of the experience of some French ladies who came to the
Albanian coast on the _Città di Bari_ towards the end of 1915 with 2000
kilos of milk, clothing and medical supplies for the Serbian children
who had struggled across the mountains. These ladies write that after
the torpedoing of the _Brindisi_ their own crew ran up and down without
appearing to see them; the crew had life-belts, those of the ladies were
taken away. Ultimately they succeeded in having themselves put ashore,
and the _Città di Bari_ fled in the night without landing the stores.
And in Albania, the ladies say, one witnessed the "stoic endurance of
the noble Serbian race, of which every day brought us more examples. In
that procession of ghosts and of the dying there was no imploring look,
there was no hand stretched out to beg." ... The Yugoslavs may have
known what happened to Lieutenant (now Captain) Binnos de Pombara of the
French navy. This officer, in command of the _Fourche_, had been
escorting the _Città di Messina_ and, observing that she was torpedoed,
had sent to her, perhaps a little imprudently, all his life-boats and
belts. A few minutes later, when he was himself torpedoed, the Italians
did not see him; anyhow they made for the shore. De Pombara encouraged
his men by causing them to sing the Marseillaise and so forth; they
were in the water, clinging to the wreckage, for several hours, until
another boat came past. The next day at Brindisi, when he met the
captain of the _Città di Messina_, this gentleman once more did not see
him; but the French Government, although de Pombara was a very young
man, created him an officer of the Legion of Honour.


There was thus a certain amount of tension existing between the military
and naval services of the Yugoslavs and those of Italy. Other Yugoslavs
were apprehensive as to whether the Italians would not demand the
enforcement of the Treaty of London. But the United States was not bound
by that agreement, which was so completely at variance with Wilson's
principle of self-determination. One presumed that, pending an
examination of these matters, the disputed territories would be occupied
by troops of all the Allies. But unfortunately this did not turn out to
be the case. France, Britain and America stood by, while the Italians
and the Yugoslavs took whatsoever they could lay their hands on. As the
Yugoslav military forces had to come overland, while the Italians had
command of the sea, it was natural that in most places the Italians got
the better of the scramble; and where they found the Yugoslavs in
possession, as at Rieka, they usually ousted them by diplomatic methods.
And in one way or another they managed to make their holdings tally, as
far as possible, with the Treaty of London, and even to go beyond it.
Baron Sonnino declined to make a comprehensive statement as to the
Italian programme. Of course he desired in the end to exchange
Dalmatia--the seizure of which would entail a war with Yugoslavia--against
Rieka. But as Italian public opinion had scarcely thought of Rieka
during the War, he made it his business to cause them to yearn for that
town. His compatriots were asking why Mr. Wilson's Fourteen Points
should be waived for France in the Sarre Basin, for Britain in Ireland
and Egypt, but not for them. And some of his would-be ingenious
compatriots pointed out--their contentions were embodied in the Italian
Memorandum to the Supreme Council on January 10, 1920--that as the
Treaty of London was based on the presumption that Montenegro, Serbia
and Croatia would remain separate States, this instrument had been
altogether upset by the merging of those Southern Slavs into one
country, Yugoslavia; it followed, therefore, that the Treaty which
attributed Rieka to the Croats could no longer be invoked. But the other
parts of the Treaty which gave the Slav mainland and islands to Italy
were absolutely unassailable. The reader will resent being troubled by
this kind of balderdash, but Messrs. Clemenceau, Lloyd-George and Wilson
may have resented it even more.


On November 3 the Italians arrived outside Vis (Lissa), the most
westerly of the large islands, where the entire population of 11,000 is
Slav, except for the family of an honoured inhabitant, Dr. Doimi, and
three other families related to his. Dr. Doimi's people have lived for
many years on this island--his father was mayor of the capital, which is
also called Vis, for half a century--and now they have become so
acclimatized that, as he told me, three of his four nephews prefer to
call themselves Yugoslavs. This phenomenon can be seen all down the
Adriatic coast. It has often, for example, been pointed out to Dr. Vio,
the very Italian ex-mayor of Rieka, that he has a Croat father and
several Croat brothers. Thus also the Duimić family of the same town
has one brother married to a Magyar lady and very fond of the Magyars, a
second brother who is a Professor at Milan, and a third who lives above
Rieka and is a Yugoslav. The terms "Yugoslav" and "Italian" have now
come to signify not what a man is, but what he wants to be, applying
thus the admirable principle of self-determination. Well, in the old
days on the isle of Vis between two and three hundred people belonged to
the Autonomist party, owing to their great regard for Dr. Doimi; but
these say now that they are Yugoslavs, and the Italians--at all events
Captain Sportiello, their chief officer at Vis--acknowledged that they
must base their demand on strategic reasons. A day or two before the
Italians arrived the population had arrested several Austrian
functionaries, including the mayor and three gendarmes, who had
maltreated them during the War. None of these persons were Italian; and
when the Italian boats were sighted a committee went to meet them
joyfully and brought the officers ashore upon their backs. The officers
explained that they had come as representatives of the Entente and the
United States, and for the object--which appeared superfluous--of
protecting Vis from German submarines. If the Italians had been
everywhere as inoffensive as at Vis, it would be more agreeable to write
about their doings. Captain Sportiello, a naval officer, showed himself
throughout the months of his administration to be sensible; he
frequented Yugoslav houses. The greatest divergence occurred on June 1,
1919, when the Italians planned to have a demonstration for their
national holiday, and asked the inhabitants to come to the bioscope,
where they would be regaled with cakes and sweets; the inhabitants
replied that they preferred to have Yugoslavia.... But there is a
monument in the cemetery at Vis to which I must refer. It is a very fine
monument of white marble, erected by the Austrians to commemorate their
victory in these waters over the Italian navy in 1866.[9] On the top
there is a lion clutching the Italian flag, while on two of the sides
there are inscriptions in the German language. One of them, some feet in
length, relates that this memorial is placed there for the officers and
men who on July 20, 1866, gave their lives in the service of their
Emperor and country. The Italians screwed two marble slabs across the
upper and the lower parts of this inscription, so that the German
lettering of the central part remained visible; on the lower slab one
read: "Novembre 1918" and on the upper one "Italia Vincitrice"
(Victorious Italy). We were taken by several Italian officers to look
at this. They were so proud of it that they presented us with
photographs of the monument in its altered state. I fear that the
Italian mentality escapes me. I should not have written anything about


They landed on the same day, November 3, on the beautiful and prosperous
island of Korčula (Curzola), putting ashore at Velaluka, the western
harbour. With the exception of five families, all the people are
Yugoslavs; and the Italians, who sailed in under a white flag, announced
that they had come as friends of the Yugoslavs and of the Entente, to
preserve order and to protect them against submarines. On the 5th, they
went to the town of Korčula, where one of the two officers,
Lieutenant Poggi, of the navy, put his assurances in writing, as he had
done at Velaluka. He protested against the word "Occupation." On the 7th
they returned to Velaluka and on the 12th went back, with about a
hundred men, to Korčula. Once more he wrote that he had not come to
occupy the island; he added, though, that the district officials should
act on the opposite peninsula of Sabioncello in the name of the
Yugoslavs, but over Korčula and the island of Lastovo (Lagosta) in
the name of Italy--not of the Entente. He wanted to remove the Yugoslav
flags from public buildings and substitute Italian flags. When he was
reminded of what he had said with regard to the Entente, he exclaimed:
"No, no! This is Italy!" The chief district official protested, and
refused to carry out Lieut. Poggi's injunctions, nor were the Italians
able to do so. This officer remained at Korčula, requisitioning
houses and hoisting as many Italian flags as he could. He issued an
order that after 6.30 p.m. not more than three persons were allowed to
come together in the streets. His men used to offer food to the women of
the place, who declined it; after which the food was given to the
children, who were previously photographed in an imploring attitude.
There was some trouble on December 15 when the _Leonidas_, an American
ship, came in with a number of mine-sweepers. Apparently the Yugoslavs
contravened the Italian regulations by omitting to ask whether their
band might play in the harbour, but, on the supposition that this would
not be accorded to them, went down to the harbour just as if they were
not living under regulations. They waved American, Serbian and Croatian
flags, all of which the Italians attempted to seize; the most gorgeous
one, a Yugoslav flag of silk with gilt fringes, they tore up and divided
among themselves as a trophy. When the _Leonidas_ made fast, a
lieutenant leaped ashore and placed himself, holding a revolver, in
front of an American flag. The captain, according to some reports, had
his men standing to their guns, while others of the crew are said to
have been given hand-grenades; but whether by this method or another,
the turbulence on shore was calmed and the Italians seem to have invited
the captain to step off his boat. He preferred, however, to go to
another port; the populace came overland. One need not say that there
was jollification.... When the other American boats departed, a small
one remained at Korčula. One day a steamer came from Metković,
having on board a few men of the Yugoslav Legion. The people of
Korčula, not being allowed to take the men to their houses, came down
quietly to the harbour with coffee and bread, but the carabinieri drove
them away. These legionaries were emigrants to Australia and Canada, who
had come back to fight for the Entente, including Italy. The Italians
wanted to arrest them all on account of a small Croatian flag which one
of them was holding, but at the request of the American ship they
refrained. A certain Marko Šimunović, who had gone to Australia
from the Korčula village of Račišca, went over to speak to the
sailors on the American boat. Because of this the carabinieri took him
to the military headquarters. He was interned for several months in

The long island of Hvar (Lesina) was not occupied until November 13. It
is interesting, by the by, to note how this island came to have its
names. In the time of the Greek colonists it was known as ὁ φἁρος,
which subsequently became Farra or Quarra, leading to the name
Hvar, by which it is known to the Slavs. They also, in the thirteenth
century, gave it an alternative name: Lesna, from the Slav word
signifying "wooded," for the Venetians had not yet despoiled the island
of many of its forests. Lesna was the popular and Hvar the literary
name; and the Italians, taking the former of these, coined the word
Lesina, the sound of which makes many of them and of other people think
that this is an Italian island.[10] The question of Slav and Italian
geographical names in Dalmatia has been carefully investigated by a
student at Split. Taking the zone which was made over to the Italians by
the Treaty of London, he found that with the exception of a reef called
Maon, alongside the island of Pago, every island, village, mountain and
river has a Slav name, whereas out of the total of 114 names there were
64 which have no names in Italian; and this is giving the Italians
credit for such words as Sebenico, Zemonico and so forth, which in the
opinion of philologists are merely modifications of the original
Šibenik, Zemunik, etc.


At Starigrad on Hvar the Italians also said that they were
representatives of the Entente, but soon they prohibited the national
colours. Being perhaps aware that in the whole island, with its
population of about 20,000, there were before the War only four or five
Italians who were engaged in selling fruit, their countrymen in November
1918 did their best, by the distribution of other commodities--rice,
flour and macaroni--to make some more Italians. They succeeded at
Starigrad in obtaining fifteen or twenty recruits. And they made it
obvious that it would be more comfortable to be an Italian than a
Yugoslav. The local Reading-Rooms, whose committee had received no
previous warning, fell so greatly under the displeasure of the Italians
that one night after ten o'clock--at which time curfew sounded for the
Yugoslavs; the Italians and their friends could stay out until any
hour--the premises were sacked: knives were used against the pictures,
furniture was taken by assault, and mirrors did not long resist the
fine élan of the attacking party. Old vases, other ornaments and books
were thrown into the harbour near the _Sirio_, the Italian destroyer
which was anchored ten yards from the Reading-Rooms. Of course there was
an inquiry; the result of it was that several Yugoslavs (and no others)
were imprisoned. The _Sirio's_ commander was a gentleman of some
activity; he sent a telegram to Rome and another one to Admiral Millo,
the Italian Governor of the occupied parts of Dalmatia, saying that the
people of the island longed for annexation. These telegrams he read
aloud before the islanders, with all his carabinieri in attendance....
The old-world capital of the island, which is a smaller place than
Starigrad, was occupied on the same day. The first serious encounter
took place on December 4, when the Italians, who were quartered on the
upper floor of the Sokol or gymnastic club, observed that furniture was
being taken from the rooms below them and was being carried out into the
street. If they had asked the people what they were about they would
have heard that these things had been stored in the gymnasium during the
War and that the place was now to be devoted to its original purpose.
What they did was to believe at once the yarn of a renegade, who told
them that the people were preparing to blow up the house. The Italians
opened fire, wounded several persons and killed one of their own


On the mainland the Italians were received at Šibenik with some
suspicion. They announced, however, that they came as representatives of
the Allies, and begged for a pilot who would take them into Šibenik's
land-locked harbour, through the mine-field. The Yugoslavs consented,
and after the Italians had installed themselves they requisitioned sixty
Austrian merchant vessels which were lying in that harbour. (They left,
as a matter of fact, to the Yugoslavs out of all the ex-Austrian
mercantile fleet exactly four old boats--_Sebenico_, _Lussin_, _Mossor_
and _Dinara_--with a total displacement of 390 tons.) On the other
hand, at Zadar, they were received in a very friendly fashion. In this
town, as it had been the seat of government, with numerous officials and
their families, the Autonomist anti-Croat party had been, under Austria,
more powerful than in any other town in Dalmatia. With converts coming
in from the country, which is entirely Slav, the Autonomists in Zadar
had become well over half the population,[11] which is about 14,000,
that of the surrounding district being about 23,000. Zadar was thus a
place apart from the rest of Dalmatia, and although the Dalmatian
Autonomists were unable to claim any of the eleven deputies who went to
Vienna, they managed to be represented in the provincial Chamber--the
Landtag--by six out of the forty-one members. The Landtag was not
elected on the basis of universal suffrage; four out of these six
members were chosen by large landowners, one (Dr. Ziliotto, the mayor)
by the town of Zadar and one by the Zadar chamber of commerce. Out of
the eighty-six communes of Dalmatia, Zadar was the solitary one that was
Autonomist. Some very few Autonomists were wont to say that they aspired
to union with Italy, but it was generally thought that most of them
agreed with Dr. Ziliotto when he said in the Landtag in 1906: "We,
separated from Italy by the whole Adriatic--we a few thousand men,
scattered, with no territorial links, among a population not of hundreds
of thousands but of millions of Slavs, how could we think of union with
Italy?" And Dr. Ziliotto was one of those who always regarded himself as
an Italian. But whether the Zadar Autonomists were sincere or not when
Austria ruled over them, the large majority of them hung out Italian
colours after the War, and in this they were undoubtedly sincere,
although the motives varied; in some it was the love of Italy, in some
it was ambition and in some a thirst for vengeance.

[Although both Yugoslavs and Italians criticize the Austrian figures, it
is probable that they are pretty accurate. The census of 1910 gave for
Dalmatia: 610,669 Serbo-Croats, 18,028 Italians, 3081 Germans and 1410
Czecho-Slovaks. The Autonomist party claimed that they were not 18,028
but 30,000; and that 150,000 persons in Dalmatia speak Italian. But the
Orlando-Sonnino Government really did try its utmost to improve these
figures. At the end of November 1918 the Italians, who had charge of the
police at Constantinople, put up notices asking all Austrian subjects
from Dalmatia to inscribe themselves with the authorities and thus
receive protection. In addition to the ordinary large Yugoslav
population, the Austrian army was still there, and two of its officers,
in uniform, inscribed themselves. The Italians had to endure not a few
rebuffs, for they applied to people at their houses--they had found the
nationality lists at the police offices. The Dutch were looking after
Yugoslav interests, but received no instructions.]


It was thought at Zadar that the Italians would be followed in the
course of days by the other Allies. Anyhow the Yugoslavs were in no
carping spirit; about 5000 of them assembled to greet the Italian
destroyer; they were, in fact, more numerous than the Italians. And
perhaps one should record that on this memorable occasion--it was at an
early hour--Dr. Ziliotto had to complete his toilette as he ran down to
the quay. Soon the Italian captain, shouldered by the crowd, was
flourishing two flags, the Italian and the Yugoslav--although his
country had, of course, not recognized Yugoslavia. For a little time it
was the colour of roses, and the worm that crept into this paradise
seems to have been a Japanese warship in whose presence each of the two
parties wished to demonstrate how powerful it was. The carabinieri
resolved to maintain order, and as an inmate of the seminary made, they
said, an unpolished gesture at them from a window they went off and,
with some reinforcements, broke into the Slav Reading-Room and damaged
it considerably. The Italian officers and men at Zadar went about their
duties for some time without permitting themselves to be drawn into
local politics, but they were told repeatedly that the Slavs are goats
and barbarians, so that at last the men appear to have concluded that
strong measures were required. Some of them mingled, in civilian
clothes, with the unruly elements, and Zadar's narrow streets became
most hazardous for Yugoslav pedestrians. Girls and men alike were
roughly handled; thrice in one day, for example, a professor--Dr.
Stoikević--had his ears boxed as he went to or was coming from his
school. Yet Zadar is a dignified old place; the chief men of the town
and the Italian officers did what they could to keep it so. But away
from their control some deeds of truculence occurred. The prison
warders, as the spirit moved them, forced the Slavs there to be quiet,
or to shout "Viva Italia!" Most of the Slavs were in the gaol for having
had in their possession Austrian paper money stamped by the Yugoslav
authorities; these notes were subsequently declared by the Italians to
be illegal; but if a man came from Croatia, for example, and had
nothing else, it was a trifle harsh to lock him up and confiscate the
money. Eight good people went to Zadar prison owing to the fact that
near the ancient town of Biograd they had been sitting underneath the
olive trees and singing Croat folk-songs. Nor was it much in keeping
with Zadar's dignity when the "Ufficio Propaganda" put out a large red
placard which invited boys between the ages of nine and seventeen to
join in establishing a "Corpo Nazionale dei giovani esploratori"--that
is to say, an association of boy scouts. It is superfluous to inquire as
to why these boys were mustered.... When the Austrians collapsed, a few
old rifles were seized by the Italians and the Croats, the latter having
fifteen or twenty which they hid in various villages. A priest and a
medical student were privy to this fearful crime. A hue and cry was
raised by the carabinieri--the priest vanished, the student jumped out
of a window of his house and also vanished. But the carabinieri would
not be denied. They suspected that the Albanians of the neighbouring
village of Borgo Erizzo were abetting the Slavs. It was necessary,
therefore, to castigate them. The 2500 inhabitants of Borgo Erizzo,
nearly all of them Albanians who speak their own language and
Serbo-Croat, while 5 per cent. also speak Italian, used to be divided in
their sympathies before the War--75 per cent. being adherents of the
Slavs in Zadar and 25 per cent. of the Autonomists. Now they have,
excepting 5 per cent., gone over to the Slavs, and as they have retained
some of the habits of their ancestors, they were not going to let the
hostile forces win an easy victory. A student marched in front of the
Italians, then about ten carabinieri, then a few ranks of soldiers, and
then the mob of Zadar. The Albanians were in two groups, twenty
sheltering behind walls to the right of the road and twenty to the left;
they were armed with stones, their women folk were bringing them relays
of these. The encounter ended in three carabinieri and seven or eight
soldiers being wounded. In order to avenge this defeat one Duka, who is
by birth an Albanian and is a teacher at the Italian "Liga" school,
which was built a few years ago at Borgo Erizzo, determined on the next
afternoon to attack the Teachers' Institute, which is situated 400 steps
from his own establishment, and which on the previous day had shown a
strong defence. He led the attack in person, firing his revolver. But
the casualties were light. The Teachers' Institute was, after this,
occupied by the military, and Admiral Millo paid a complimentary visit
to Duka at his school.


Proceeding up the Adriatic we come to the Quarnero Islands, of which the
most considerable is Krk (Veglia). The whole district had, at the last
census, 19,562 inhabitants whose ordinary language was Serbo-Croat, and
1544 who commonly spoke Italian. Of these latter the capital, likewise
called Krk, contained 1494, and only 644 who gave themselves out as
Slavs. The town, with its tortuous, rather wistful streets, was the
residence of the Venetian officials, and five or six of those old
families remain. The rest of the 1494 are nearly all Italianized Slavs,
who under Austria used to call themselves either Austrians of Italian
tongue or else Istrians. However, if they wish to be Italians now, there
is none to say them nay. They include five out of the twenty officials,
and these five gentlemen seem to have boldly said before the War that it
would please them if this island were to be included in the Kingdom of
Italy. They did not give their Austrian rulers many sleepless nights;
this confidence in them was justified, for during the War they placed
themselves in the front rank of those who flung defiant words at Italy,
and one of them enlarged his weapon, copying upon his typewriter some
Songs of Hate, which probably were sent to him from Rieka or Triest.
These typewritten sheets were then circulated in the island. One of
them--"Con le teste degli Italiani"--had been specially composed for
children and expressed the intention of playing bowls with Italian
heads. The songs for adults were less blood-thirsty but not less cruel.
The Yugoslavs of the island must have been engaged in other War work; no
songs were provided for them.... When Austria collapsed, some youths
came from Rieka, flourishing their flags and sticks, and crying, "Down
with Austria!" "Long live Italy!" "Long live Yugoslavia!" "Long live
King Peter!" There was, in fact general goodwill. A Croat National
Council was formed, and was recognized by the Italian party; it
introduced a censorship, but as the postmaster's allegiance was given to
the minority he sent a telegram to Triest, asking for bread and
protection; and on November 15 the _Stocco_ arrived. Other people soon
departed; the Bishop's chancellor and his chaplain, two magistrates and
a Custom-house official, were shipped off to Italy or Sardinia, while
the owner of the typewriter flew off as a delegate to Paris, having
persuaded the town council of the capital to vote a sum of 36,000 crowns
for his expenses--but a crown was now worth less than half a franc.
However, two members of the town council thought that it was a waste of
money; but when they were threatened with internment in Sardinia they
withdrew their active opposition, and the delegate set out. On the way
he granted an interview to an Italian journalist, and depicted the
spontaneous enthusiasm with which the islanders had called for Italy.
But the journalist had heard of the National Council and he asked, very
naturally, whether it shared these sentiments. "Ha parlato da Italiano!"
("I have spoken as an Italian"), replied the delegate; and when the
newspaper reached the island, this cryptic saying was interpreted in
various ways, his critics pointing out that, as he had diverged from
truthfulness, this was another little Song of Hate. The Bishop, Dr.
Mahnić,[12] did not go to Italy for several months. He was a learned
Slovene, an ex-Professor of Gorica University, known also as a stern
critic of any poetry which was not dogmatically religious. He gave vent
to his dislike of the poetry of Gregorčić and Aškerc, both of
them priests. The former, being of a mild disposition, bowed before the
storm; but Aškerc wrote a cutting satire on his critic. The
Austrians, disapproving of his religious and patriotic activities,
thought they would smother him by this appointment to a rather
out-of-the-way diocese. But his influence spread far beyond it, and in
the islands he was so solicitous for the people's material welfare that,
for example, he founded savings-banks, which were a great success. It
was unavoidable, as he was a man of character, that he should come into
conflict with the Italians, for their commanding officer, a naval
captain of Hungarian origin, was not a suave administrator. He charged a
priest with making Yugoslav propaganda because he catechized the little
children in their own language; another priest on the island of Unie,
which forms a part of the diocese, was accused of making propaganda,
because he has had in his church two statues--which had been there for
years--of SS. Cyril and Methodus. They were removed from the church, he
put them back; finally he was himself expelled and Unie remained without
a priest. The naval captain was irritated by the old Slavonic liturgy,
which is used in all except four churches of the diocese, but if he
could not alter this--Dr. Mahnić referring him to the Pope--he and
the Admiral at Pola, Admiral Cagni, could manage with some trouble to
rid themselves of the bishop. This gentleman, who was in his seventieth
year and an invalid, said that he would perhaps go to Rome after Easter.
On March 24 the captain told him that the admiral had settled he should
sail in three days, but the bishop was ill. On the 26th the captain
returned with a lieutenant of carabinieri to ask if the bishop was still
ailing; the admiral, it seemed, had ordered that two other doctors--the
officer of health for the district and an Italian army doctor--should
verify the report of the bishop's own medical attendant. The three of
them quarrelled for two hours, but finally they all signed a memorandum
that the bishop was ill. On the 31st the captain came to say that a
destroyer would arrive and that it would take the bishop wherever he
wanted to go, for the Italians had made up their minds that go he must.
He had objected far too vigorously to their methods--not approving, for
example, of the written permit which was given in the autumn to the
people of two villages in Krk, on which it stated that these people
could supply themselves with timber at Grdnje. This was a State forest,
rented by a certain man; but the Italians acknowledged that what they
wanted was adherents, and these grateful villagers, if there should be a
plebiscite, would vote for them. The man appealed to justice, but the
judge received a verbal order not to act. The villagers were given a
general amnesty on January 1, an Italian flag was hoisted at the judge's
office--the judge had gone away. Another transaction which the bishop
had resented was after a visit paid by the captain and another officer
of the French warship _Annamite_ to the Yugoslav Reading-Rooms at
Lošinj mali (Lussinpiccolo); a priest and two other gentlemen had
escorted their guests to the harbour at 11 p.m.; during the night all
three were arrested and the priest deported. When the _Annamite_ put in
at the lofty island of Cres (Cherso) and a couple of officers went to
the Franciscan monastery, it resulted in the monastery being closed and
the monks removed. Their simple act of courtesy was, said the Italians,
propaganda. From Lošinj mali and Cres five ladies were collected,
four of them being teachers and one the wife of the pilot,
Sindičić. They were guilty of having greeted the French, and on
account of this were taken to the prison at Pola. Afterwards in Venice
they were kept for six weeks in the company of prostitutes and from
there they passed to Sardinia, on which island they were retained for
nine months. As for Dr. Mahnić, he set sail on April 4 at 6 a.m.
Being asked whither he would like to go, he said he wished to be put
down at Zengg on the mainland. "Excellent," said the Italians; but after
a few minutes they said they had received a radio from Pola that the
bishop must be taken to Ancona. He was afterwards allowed to live in a
monastery near Rome.


The Italians had not been two days in Pola--in which arsenal town the
population, unlike that of the country, mostly uses the Italian
language--when they made themselves disliked by both parties. The
President of the Italian National Council was told by the Admiral that
an Austrian crown was to be worth forty Italian centesimi. This, said
the Admiral, was an order from Rome. The President explained that this
meant ruin for the people of the town. He asked if he might telegraph to
Rome. "I am Rome!" said the Admiral, or words to that effect. Thereupon
the President and the colleagues who were with him said they would never
come again to see the Admiral "If I want you," said the Admiral, "I
will have you brought by a couple of carabinieri." On the next day red
flags were flying on the arsenal and on the day after the Italian troops
were taken elsewhere, while 10,000 fresh ones came from Italy. And Pola,
in exchange for troops, gave coal. For some time the Italians carried
off two trainloads of it every day. This absence of coal from their own
native country, which rather places them at the mercy of the
coal-producing lands, seems to be more their misfortune than anybody's
fault, yet the Italian party of Rieka added this to their grievances
against France and Great Britain. Those two countries ought, they said,
in very decency, to correct the oversights of Providence; but no very
practical suggestions were put forward.


According to the Austrian census of 1910 Istria contained 386,740
inhabitants, of whom 218,854 (or 58·5 per cent.) habitually used the
Serbo-Croat language, while 145,552 (or 38·9 per cent.) used Italian.
The Yugoslavs cannot help regarding the Istrian statistics with
suspicion, and believing that here, more than in Dalmatia, they were
made to suffer on account of Austria's alliance with Italy and with the
Vatican: one of the wrongs which Strossmayer fought against was that
Istria had been entrusted to an Italian Dalmatian bishop who could not
speak a word of Slav. This prelate appointed to vacant livings a number
of Italian priests whom the people could not understand; a Slav coming
to confess had to be supplied with an interpreter. As to the statistics
in the commune of Krmed (Carmedo), for example, of the district of Pola,
the census of 1900 gave 257 Croats against three Italians, whereas in
1910 it was stated that 296 inhabitants spoke habitually Italian and six
spoke Croatian. Nevertheless, if one accepts the Austrian figures, the
58·5 per cent. should not be treated as if they did not exist. Perhaps
the Italian officials could find no interpreters to translate their
proclamations and decrees; if the Yugoslavs could not read them that was
a defect in their education. If they were unable to write to the
authorities or to send private telegrams in Italian, let them hold
their peace. At any rate, said Vice-Admiral Cagni, we will not encourage
the Croatian language, and on November 16, 1918, he commanded the
Yugoslav schools to be shut at eleven places in the district and also
two schools in the town. The Austrians had allowed these schools to
remain open during the War; but of course if you wish to prevent people
from learning a language this is one of the first steps you would take.
Thirteen Yugoslav schoolmasters at Pola were thus deprived of their
means of livelihood. The Admiral said that he really did not want to let
matters remain in this condition, but all these schools had been at the
expense of the State; let the Yugoslavs support their own schools. They
were, as a matter of fact, entitled by reason of their numbers to have
State-supported schools. Yet that was, of course, in the time of
Austria; and why should Italy be bound by Austrian laws? Italy would do
what she saw fit. In various places the teachers were, in the presence
of Italian officers, compelled to use Italian for the instruction of
purely Yugoslav children. Slav schoolmistresses were, in several cases,
taken out of bed in the middle of the night and conducted on board
Italian ships. The clergy were ordered to preach in Italian in churches,
such as that of Veprinac, where the congregation is almost entirely
Slav[13]--and so on, and so on. Well, there are several ways of
governing a mixed population, and this is one of them.... "Zadar and
Rieka," said Pribičević in November to an Italian interviewer at
Zagreb--"Zadar and Rieka will enjoy all liberty of culture and municipal
autonomy. And we are convinced that an equal treatment will be accorded
to the Slav minorities who will be included in your territory. We
understand and perfectly recognize your right to Triest and to Pola, and
we would that in Italy our right to Rieka and Dalmatia were recognized
with the same justice."[14]


Rieka is a place concerning which a good deal has been written, but I
doubt if there have been two words more striking than the phrase which
the Consiglio Nazionale Italiano applies in a pamphlet to the last
Hungarian Governor. This official, appreciating that his presence in the
town would serve no useful end, dissolved the State police on October
28, 1918, and departed. "Hôte insalué, il disparut...." says the
pamphlet. After all the years of kindness, all the million favours
showered on the Autonomists by their beloved friends the Magyars, after
all the dark electioneering tricks and gutter legislation which for
years had been committed by the Magyars to the end that the Autonomists
and they should have all the amenities of some one else's house, it
surely is the acme of ingratitude to call this tottering benefactor
"Hôte insalué." If the Autonomists did not desire to reap advantages
from any Magyar corruption, they might at any time since November 17,
1868, have torn the swindling piece of paper, the "krpitsa," from the
Agreement made between the Magyars and the Croats. Then the Croat would
not have been kept for all these years a slave in his own home.... But
on October 28, 1918, the "krpitsa" had no more weight, the iniquitous
Agreement was obsolete, the Croats came into possession of their own.
The Compromise of 1868, which gave the administration of Rieka
provisionally to the Magyars, was formally denounced on October 29, so
that the _status quo ante_ returned, and Rieka was again an integral
part of the Kingdom of Croatia. The Croatian Government (that is, the
National Council) had then every right to depute its adherents at Rieka
to undertake the affairs of that town. Dr. Vio was too much of a lawyer
to dispute the legality of any of these statements....


Some of the leading citizens of Rieka formed themselves into a Croat
National Council; Dr. Bakarčić and Dr. Lenac went up to the
Governor's palace, and with them went Dr. Vio, as delegate of the town
council. He said they recognized the Croatian Government, on condition
that the town's municipal autonomy was guaranteed. To this they readily
consented, with respect to the Italian language, to their schools and to
the existing town administration, thus agreeing to every suggestion
which Dr. Vio made. Moreover they gave him the town register (of births,
etc.), which the Magyars had appropriated and which was now discovered
at the palace. This was at 9 a.m. on October 30. Dr. Vio said that he
was glad that everything had been arranged so amicably. But on the same
evening the Italian National Council elected itself, for a large number
of the Autonomist party had now become the Italian party. There still
remained, however, an Autonomist party, which was no longer inspired,
like the old Autonomists, by despotic sentiments towards the Croats, but
by a feeling that in consequence of this long despotism the Croats were,
as yet, not fit to govern such a place as Rieka. This is a matter of
opinion. These Autonomists considered that, at any rate for several
years, the town should not belong to Yugoslavia or to Italy, but be a
free town under Allied, British or American, control. After five or six
years there could be a plebiscite, and during that period the population
would be encouraged to devote itself more to business and less to
politics. This would tend to make them a united people, with the
interests of the town at heart. But the Italian party, said the
Autonomist leader, Mr. Gothardi, did not appear to think these interests
important; when it was argued that Rieka would not flourish under Italy,
because of the competition with Italy's other ports and especially
Triest, because of the vast Italian debt, and for other reasons, the
Italian party answered that even if the grass grew in Rieka's streets it
must belong to Italy. "Very well," said the Slavs, "then we will develop
the harbour at Bakar" a few miles away. "Infamous idea!" exclaimed the
Italianists; "Rieka is the harbour for the hinterland." There the
Autonomists agree with them, that the town should finally belong to the
State which has the hinterland. Mr. Gothardi's party gathered strength
and he himself became so obnoxious to the Italianists that when I saw
him in the month of May 1919 he had been for several weeks a prisoner in
his flat, on account of some thirty individuals with sticks who were
lurking round the corner. His figures were as follows:

          6,000 Socialists.
          3,000 Autonomists.
          1,500 Yugoslavs.
 That is, 10,000 voters out of 12-13,000.

One may mention that he, like some others of his party, belongs to a
family which has been at Rieka for two hundred years, whereas of the
fifteen gentlemen who called themselves the Italian National Council,
only one--a cousin of Mr. Gothardi's--is a member of an old Rieka
family. Most of the others we are bound to call renegades.

It may be asked why the Italian National Council was established, and
why its members swore that they would give their lives if they could
thus give Rieka to the "Madre Patria." Some of them believed, I am sure,
that this was for Rieka's good, cultural and economical; others
entertained the motives that we saw at Zadar--personal ambition and the
desire to satisfy some animosities. And there were others who remembered
what occurred in the great harbour warehouses. They hoped, they thought
that if the town fell to the lot of Italy no questions would be
asked.[15] There must also have been some who could not bear to
contemplate the loss of their old privileged position.


For a considerable time it was not known who were the members of the
Italian National Council. From internal evidence one saw that they were
not particularly logical people, for they made much play, in their
announcements, with "democratic principles" in spite of the undemocratic
fog in which they wrapped themselves. Of course they had not been
elected by anyone except themselves; but there was a vast difference
between them and the self-elected Croat National Council, since the
latter derived their authority from the Croatian Government at Zagreb,
which Dr. Vio, in the name of the Rieka municipality, had
recognized--whereas the Italian National Council was destitute of any
parent, though they would, had they been pressed, have claimed, no
doubt, the blissfully unconscious "Madre Patria." Subsequently it turned
out that the I.N.C. consisted of Dr. Vio and of fourteen persons who had
hitherto not taken part in public life. They were fourteen worthies of
the background, the most remarkable act in the life of their President,
Dr. Grossich, for example, dating from twenty years ago when he was the
medical attendant of the Archduchess Clothilde, and decorated, so they
say, his consulting-room with black and yellow festoons. The I.N.C.
appeared at its inception to be different from a Russian Soviet because
it had no power.


A number of deplorable transactions ensued, and they were not all
committed by the Italianists. The proclamations which were sent from
Zagreb, exhorting the people to be tranquil, were printed in the two
languages, but some Croat super-patriots at Rieka tried to make the town
mono-lingual. At the railway station and the post office they removed
the old Italian inscriptions and put up Croatian ones, they wrote to
the mayor in Croat, which, although Dr. Vio has a Croat father and
visited a Croat school and a Croat university, was tactless; they wrote
that Croat would now be the language of the town, which was a foolish
thing to do. They even seem to have demanded the evacuation of the town
hall within twenty-four hours. And the irresponsible persons who made
this demand were very properly snubbed by the municipal authorities.


These excited patriots, delirious with joy that at last their own town
was in their hands, did not set Rieka on fire, nor did they murder women
and children; but the Italianists forthwith sent wireless messages to
Venice, screaming that all these enormities were taking place. A few of
them rushed off in motors to Triest, where they made themselves into a
Committee of Public Safety, picked up some Triest sympathizers and flew
on to Venice, where they related breathless stories of foul deeds. One,
which appeared in the Italian Press, was that three children of Rieka
had been publicly committed to the flames.


On November 4 an Italian destroyer, the _Stocco_, shortly followed by
the _Emanuele Filiberto_, a cruiser, came on their errand of humanity.
The I.N.C. at once organized a plebiscite--by which is meant not a dull
giving and counting of votes in the usual election booths. A plebiscite,
at all events a plebiscite at Rieka, signifies for the Italianists a mob
assembled in a public thoroughfare; photographs of such assemblies
illustrate their pamphlets and are entitled "plebiscito." At the harbour
the Italian Admiral, whose name was Raineri, told the joyous I.N.C.--who
now had flung aside their anonymity--that he had come to bring them a
salute from Italy, and that he had been sent to shield Italians and to
protect Italian interests. The plebiscite threw up its hats and waved
its flags, and shouted its applause and sang its songs. Flowers fell
upon the Admiral, and on his men and on the guns; the ships, as we are
told, were changed to floating gardens. But the sailors did not
disembark. Some ladies, members of the plebiscite, besought the Admiral
to come ashore, and hoping to persuade the men, they climbed on board
and playfully seized many sailors' caps, which in the town, they said,
could be redeemed. Then shortly afterwards, the Yugoslav officials came
to greet the Admiral, as did the commandant of the Yugoslav troops which
had been for several days guarding the town. Meanwhile some unknown
persons had been up in the old clock-tower and, for reasons known
perhaps to themselves, had taken in both the Croatian and Italian flags;
the Admiral drove up to see the Governor, Dr. Lenac, and requested that
his country's flag should be rehoisted, which of course was done. And
until November 17 the Admiral was nearly every day up at the Governor's
palace, as a multitude of details had to be discussed. A French warship
arrived on the 10th, followed by a British vessel on the 12th or 13th.
Perfect calm prevailed. Croatian and Italian flags flew everywhere, as
well as French ones, British and American. The name of the Hotel Deak
was altered to Hotel Wilson.... But the men of the _Emanuele Filiberto_
and the _Stocco_ did not land. Colonel Teslić assured the Admiral
that if anyone started to set fire to an Italianist child or to indulge
in any other crime he would prevent it.


All this was very disconcerting to the I.N.C. They knew that on the
hills outside Rieka were large numbers of Italian troops, which had come
overland from Istria. But how to get them in? Rieka had not been
ascribed to the Italians by the London Treaty.[16] ... On November 15 a
detachment of Serbian troops arrived, under Colonel Maximović, and
were given a magnificent reception. Thousands of people accompanied
them, and in front of the French destroyer there was a manifestation.
Some of the Serbs, old warriors who had been under arms since the first
Balkan War, were moved to tears. The Italianists were furious; Admiral
Raineri called on the Governor for an explanation of the Serbs' arrival.
A conference was held between the Admiral, the Colonel and two Yugoslav
officers. If the Serbs remained at Rieka, said the Admiral, he would
land his marines. Maximović said he had come in obedience to his
orders, and that he would have to prevent by force the disembarkation of
the Italians. At this moment a Serbian officer entered to announce that
Italian armoured cars were approaching from Abbazia. Maximović
immediately ordered his troops to mobilize, but the Admiral said a
mistake had been made and that the cars would be sent back. (The
Government Secretary, Dr. Ružić, had been told at three o'clock by
a telephone operator that the Admiral had himself telephoned to Abbazia
for the cars.) It was decided at this conference that on Sunday,
November 17, the Yugoslav troops would evacuate the town, that it would
be occupied by Serbian and American troops, and that, to mark the
alliance, a small Italian detachment would be landed. As Admiral Cagni,
of Pola, ordered that Italian troops should be disembarked at Rieka,
another conference was held between Admiral Raineri, Colonel
Maximović, Colonel Teslić and Captain Dvorski (of the Yugoslav
navy), as well as French and British officers. It was arranged _sous
parole d'honneur d'officier_ that at 4 p.m. the Serbian troops should
leave Rieka and go to Porto Ré, an hour's sea journey, that the Yugoslav
troops should remain, and that the Italians should not land. No other
steps would be taken till November 20 at noon, and the Supreme Command
would be asked to settle the difficulty. As soon as the Serbian troops
were out at sea, the Italian army, under General di San Marzano
(attended by a kinematograph), marched in from the hills, entering the
town simultaneously from four directions, in accordance with a strategic
plan. The General was told what Raineri had agreed to do; he replied
that he was Raineri's senior, that the final decision rested with him,
and that he intended to proceed into the town. (One of the British
officers is said to have addressed him rather bluntly.) At 4.30 Raineri
landed his marines, and afterwards he was dismissed from his post--not,
indeed, for having broken his word given at the inter-Allied conference,
but for having delayed so long before disembarking troops in the town.
He said he had received a written order from the Entente; if only
Maximović had not left he might have shown it him. With twenty
carabinieri the General went to the Governor's palace and asked Dr.
Lenac to vacate it. He was so excited that he almost pushed the doctor
out. "There is no room for the two of us," he said. And that is how the
Italian occupation began. The French and British brought some troops in
at a later date, but when they had six hundred each the Italians had
22,000. With the Italians came fifty Americans, so that the force might
have an international appearance. These Americans were given
broad-sheets, printed by the town Italianists in English; they welcomed
the Americans as liberators, and informed them that the population had
by plebiscite declared for annexation to the Motherland. On the same
night the Yugoslav troops were turned out of their barracks into the
street by the Italian army.... These are, I believe, the main facts as
to the occupation which has been the subject of much heated argument. I
had the facts from eye-witnesses and documents: I exposed the evidence
of each side to the criticism of the other.

Very soon the disorders began. On the evening of the occupation Italian
troops ran through the town, accompanied by some of the plebiscite, and
compelled the people to remove the Yugoslav colours from their
button-holes. In cases they surrounded their victim and used force. When
this was used against women, after the arrival of the French and
British, it produced some serious international affrays. The Italians,
who invariably outnumbered the others, did not scruple to employ their
knives; thus in the middle of December two French soldiers were stabbed
in the back and their murderers were never found.


But there had been at Rieka an Englishman for whom I have an almost
inexpressible admiration. This was Mr. A. Beaumont who, a couple of days
after the Italians occupied the town in the above-mentioned curious
fashion, sent from Triest a long message to the _Daily Telegraph_. How
can anyone not marvel at a gentleman who travels to a foreign town which
is in the throes of unrest and who, undeterred by his infirmity, sits
down to grasp the rather complicated features of the situation? I am not
acquainted with Mr. Beaumont, but he must be blind, poor fellow, for he
says that the Yugoslavs occupied with ill-concealed glee a town entirely
inhabited by some 45,000 Italians. Perhaps somebody will read to him the
following statistics made after the year 1868, when Rieka came under
Magyar dominion. The statistics were made by the Magyars and Italianists
combined, so that they do not err in favour of the Yugoslavs. He might
also be told that the Magyar-Italian alliance closed the existing
Yugoslav national schools for the 13,478 Yugoslavs in 1890, while they
opened Italo-Magyar schools for the 13,012 "Italians" and Magyars. They
would not even allow the Yugoslavs to have at Rieka an elementary school
at their own expense. Everything possible was done during these decades
to inculcate hatred and contempt for whatsoever was Slav, hoping thus to
denationalize the citizens. In view of all this it speaks well for
Yugoslav steadfastness that they were able to maintain themselves. Here
are the figures:

           YUGOSLAVS.       ITALIANS.       MAGYARS.

1880       10,227 (49%)      9,237 (44%)      379  (2%)
1890       13,478 (46%)     13,012 (44%)    1,062  (4%)
1900       16,197 (42%)     17,354 (45%)    2,842  (7%)
1910       15,692 (32%)     24,212 (49%)    6,493 (13%)

Assuming for the moment that these figures are correct--and it is an
enormous assumption[17]--are not the Autonomists to be found chiefly
among the Italians and Magyars? It is claimed that the Autonomist,
Socialist and Slav vote exceeds that of those who desire annexation to
Italy. One need not treat _au sérieux_ the great procession organized by
the Italianists, when they could not scrape together more than about
4000 persons, including many schoolboys and girls, the municipal clerks,
visitors from Italy, Triest and Zadar. One need not gibe the Italianists
with the numbers who followed Dr. Vio on that famous day when, weary of
palavering, he summoned round him his supporters and strode off to the
Governor's palace, where General Grazioli, who had succeeded General di
San Marzano, was installed.[18] Arrived there, Dr. Vio with a superb
gesture begged the General to accept the town in the name of Italy. It
is not often in the lifetime of a man that he has the opportunity of
giving a whole town away. Dr. Vio made the most of that occasion; if the
crowd which followed him was disappointing, there may be good
explanations. The allegiance of a town, one may submit, should be
settled in another fashion. The house-to-house inquiry, conducted in the
spring of 1919 by the Autonomists--resulting in an anti-annexionist
majority--was much impeded by the police; and it is of course the
business of the authorities and not of any one party to hold elections
in a town. Had the Italian National Council, bereaving themselves of
Italian bayonets, held a real plebiscite--secret or otherwise--the
result would doubtless have given them pain, but no surprise.... And
this will happen even if the Magyar system of separating Rieka from the
suburb of Sušak is perpetrated. Sušak contains about 12,500
Yugoslavs and extremely few Italianists; and, by the way, to show how
the Magyars and the Italianists worked together, it is worth mentioning
that the Magyar railway officials who lived at Sušak were allowed a
vote at Rieka, while if a Croat lived at Sušak and carried on his
avocation at Rieka he could vote in Sušak only. One must not imagine
that Sušak is a poor relation; most people would prefer to live
there. Dr. Vio was intensely wrathful because the British General
resided in a beautifully situated house there by the sea. Not only is
Sušak about twenty yards, across a stream, from Rieka, but from a
commercial point of view their separation seems absurd, since half the
port, including the great wood depots, is in Sušak. One of these
timber merchants presented an example of Italianization. His original
name was E. R. Sarinich and this was painted on his business premises at
Sušak, while in Rieka he called himself Sarini. It must have caused
him many sleepless nights.... Counting Sušak with Rieka as one town,
the total population in the autumn of 1918 was about 51 per cent.
Yugoslav, 39 per cent. Italian and 10 per cent. Magyar. These Magyars,
by the way, seem not to have been noticed by Mr. Beaumont. There were
still a good number of them in the town. "Whilst Italy might have
consented," says Mr. Beaumont, "to a compromise with Hungary, had that
State continued to exist as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, she
certainly never contemplated handing over"--["handing over" is rather
humorous]--"Fiume and its exclusively Italian population to the
Jugo-Slavs." Underneath Mr. Beaumont's dispatch there is printed a
semi-official statement, sent by Reuter, from Rome. "Yesterday
afternoon," it says, "our troops occupied Fiume. The occupation, which
was made for reasons of public order, was decided upon in view not only
of the urgent and legitimate demands of the Italian citizens of Fiume,
but also of the insistent appeals of eminent foreigners...."


"Italy's reward," says Mr. Beaumont, "must be commensurate with her
sacrifices, and this is the attitude assumed here. It is quite apart
from the mere question as to whether the Jugo-Slavs are in a majority in
certain districts or not. Those districts form a part of old Italian
territory, of Italian lands once peopled and occupied by the Italian
race and into which, with Austria's encouragement, Slav populations have
filtered." [I should love to know what are Mr. Beaumont's sources.] "The
question must not be left to local ambition and antipathies. It must be
decided authoritatively and quickly in strong counsel to the Jugo-Slav
leaders." ... Let us leave Rieka and see how the Italians decided
authoritatively and quickly on the island of Cres (Cherso). It is a
large but not thickly populated island; having 8162 inhabitants for 336
square kilometres. The Yugoslavs, according to the census of 1910,
number 5714 or 71·3 per cent., while the Italian-speaking population
amounts to 2296 or 28 per cent. About the middle of November the Italian
authorities placed in the village of Martinšćica, which is in the
south-western part of the island, 17 soldiers, 3 carabinieri and a
lieutenant. Let me say at once that I have never been to Cres, all my
knowledge of this case comes from a Franciscan monk who lives there, the
Rev. Ambrose Vlahov, Professor of Theology. At Martinšćica, he
says, there is not a single Italianist; the entire village is Yugoslav.
When the Italian military arrived the lieutenant insisted that the
priest, Karlo Hlaća, should cease to sing the Mass in Old Slav, and
that for the whole service he should use Italian, the only language,
said the lieutenant, which he (the lieutenant) understood. It was futile
for the priest to demonstrate what a ridiculous and unreasonable demand
this was; the lieutenant always came back to the subject, being sometimes
merely importunate and sometimes using menaces. As Hlaća was a model
ecclesiastic, highly esteemed by his parishioners, the lieutenant
comprehended that as long as this priest remained, he would be foiled in
his endeavours; he therefore sought an opportunity to turn him out. On
January 5, 1919, the priest had, by order of his bishop, to read during
the service a pastoral letter on the duties of the faithful towards the
Church and towards their fellow-men; he had also to add a simple and
concise commentary. In this letter there was a passage dealing with
schools, and the priest on that topic remarked that "by divine and human
law every nation may ask that its children should be instructed in their
mother tongue." When Mass was finished, the mayor of the village
assembled the parishioners and notified them that henceforward, by order
of the lieutenant, there would no longer be in the village a Croatian
but an Italian school. And in order to mollify the people he added that
the lieutenant proposed to give subsidies to such as stood in need; they
had only to present themselves before that officer. But, though the
people often found it hard to satisfy their simple wants and were at
that period in very great distress, they walked away from this assembly
without making one step in the lieutenant's direction. This incited him
to such fury that he ran, accompanied by soldiers and carabinieri, to
the priest, and publicly, in a loud voice, insulted him, calling him an
intriguer, a rebel, an agitator. On the following day the lieutenant had
him conducted to the village of Cres by two soldiers and a carabiniere,
who were all armed.... At Cres the priest was brought before the
commanding officer of the Quarnero Islands--our old acquaintance, the
naval captain of Krk--who happened to be in this village. He started at
once to bellow at the priest and, striking the table with his hand,
exclaimed: "This is an Italian island, all Italian, nothing but Italian
and evermore it will remain Italian." About a score of parishioners had
come to Cres behind their priest and his escort; they begged the
commandant to set him free. As an answer he harangued them with respect
to the Italian character of the islands, told them that they would have
to send their children to the Italian school and that the whole village
would be Italianized and that _only in their homes_ would they be
permitted to speak Croatian.... On January 8 the priest was taken from
Cres to the island of Krk, where he was informed that he would have to
leave his parish, but that he might go back there for a day or two to
fetch a few necessities. It was raining in torrents when Father
Hlaća, wet to the skin, arrived at his village on the 11th at seven
o'clock in the evening. As he suffers from several chronic
ailments--which was known to the lieutenant--this bad weather had a
grave effect upon him. When he reached his house he went to bed at once
with a very high temperature. After about a quarter of an hour the
lieutenant appeared with two carabinieri and shouted at him that he must
get up. This draconian injunction had to be obeyed, the more so as the
lieutenant was labouring under great excitement. He looked at the
priest's permit which allowed him to come back to the village, and said,
"If I were in your shoes I wouldn't venture to come back here." These
words gave Father Hlaća an impression that his life was in danger.
The lieutenant then ordered him not to go out among the people, but to
stop where he was until he was taken away. Five days after this the
priest was taken to Rieka, so that the villagers were left with nobody
to guard them against the violence and the temptations offered them by
the Italians. The Croat inscription outside the school was replaced by
one in Italian and, with the lieutenant acting as teacher, the doors
were thrown open. But the only children who went there were those of the
lieutenant himself and those of the mayor, who was a renegade in the pay
of the Italians. It was announced that heavy fines would be inflicted if
the other children did not come. The villagers were in great trouble and
in fear, with nobody to give them advice or consolation.... There may be
some who will be curious to know concerning the "Italian" population of
this island, which, according to the 1910 census, reached the large
figure of 28 per cent. At a place called Nerežine it was stated, in
the census of 1880, that the commissioner had found 706 Italians and 340
Yugoslavs. Consequently an Italian primary school was opened; but when
it was discovered that the children of Nerežine knew not one traitor
word of that language, the school was transformed into a Yugoslav
establishment. This is one case out of many; the 28 per cent. would not
bear much scrutiny.... But the Italian Government, at any rate the "Liga
Nazionale" to whose endowment it contributes, had been taking in hand
this question of elementary schools in Istria and Dalmatia among the
Slav population. The "Liga" made gratuitous distribution of clothing, of
boots, of school-books and so forth. Some indigent Slavs allowed
themselves in this way to become denationalized.

       *       *       *       *       *

When, however, you examine the embroideries of these
islands--particularly beautiful on Rab and on the island of wild olive
trees, the neighbouring Pag--you will be sure that such an ancient
national spirit as they show will not be easily seduced. The Magyars, by
the way, whose culture is more modern, borrowed certain features that
you find on these embroideries--the sun, for instance, and the cock,
which have from immemorial times been thought appropriate by these
people for the cloth a woman wears upon her head when she is bringing a
new son into the world, whose dawn the cock announces. Older than the
workers in wood, much older than those who carved in stone, are these
island embroiderers. In this work the people reproduced their tears and


What will it avail to put up "Liga" schools in these islands, where the
population is 99·67 per cent. Yugoslav and 0·31 per cent.
Italianist--that is, if we are content to accept the Austrian
statistics? What ultimate advantage will accrue to Italy from the doings
of her emissaries, in November 1918, on the isle of Rab? It was Tuesday,
November 26, when the _Guglielmo Pepe_ of the Italian navy put in at the
venerable town which is the capital of that island. The commander, with
an Italianist deputy from Istria, climbed up to the town-hall with the
old marble balcony and informed the mayor and the members of the local
committee of the Yugoslav National Council that he had come in the name
of the Entente and in virtue of the arrangements of the Armistice; he
said that in the afternoon Italian troops would land, for the purpose of
maintaining order. It was pointed out to him that no disturbance had
arisen, and that, according to the terms of the Armistice, he had no
right to occupy this island. The commander announced that he must
disarm the national guard, but that the Yugoslav flags would not be
interfered with; the Italian flag would only be hoisted on the
harbour-master's office and the military headquarters. On the next day,
after he had been unable to induce the town authorities to lower their
national flag from the clock-tower, he sent a hundred men with a machine
gun to carry out his wishes. Filled with confidence by this heroic deed,
he marched into the mayor's office and dissolved the municipal council.
Armed forces occupied the town-hall, over which an Italian flag was
flown. An Italian officer was entrusted with the mayoral functions and
with the municipal finances, while the post office was also captured and
all private telegrams forbidden, not only those which one would have
liked to dispatch, but those which came in from elsewhere--they were not
delivered. All meetings and manifestations were made illegal. The
commander, whose name was Captain Denti di ---- (the other part being
illegible), sent a memorandum to the municipal council which explained
that he dissolved it on account of their having grievously troubled the
public order; he did this by virtue of the powers conferred upon him and
in the name of the Allied Powers and the United States of America. The
islanders did not pretend to be experts in international law, but they
did not believe that he was in the right.

"I have every confidence," said the Serbian Regent, when he was
receiving a deputation of the Yugoslav National Council a few days after
this--"I have every confidence that the operations for the freedom of
the world will be accomplished, that large numbers of our brethren will
be liberated from a foreign yoke. And I feel sure that this point of
view will be adopted by the Government of the Kingdom of Italy, which
was founded on these very principles. They were cherished in the hearts
and executed in the deeds of great Italians in the nineteenth century.
We can say frankly that in choosing to have us as their friends and good
neighbours the Italian nation will find more benefit and a greater
security than in the enforcement of the Treaty of London, which we never
signed nor recognized, and which was made at a time when nobody foresaw
the crumbling of Austria-Hungary."


It would be tedious to chronicle a thousandth part of the outrages,
crimes and stupidities committed on Yugoslav territory by the Italians.
Where they were threatened with an armed resistance they yielded. Thus
on November 14, when they had reached Vrhnica (Ober-Laibach) on their
way to Ljubljana (Laibach), they were met by Colonel Svibić with
sixteen other officers who had just come out of an internment camp in
Austria. Svibić requested the Italians to leave Vrhnica. He said that
he and the Serbian commander at Ljubljana would prevent the advance of
the Italians into Yugoslav territory. They would be most reluctant to be
obliged to resort to armed force should the Italians continue their
advance, and they declined responsibility for any bloodshed which might
ensue.... The colonel of the Italian regiment which had been stationed
for some days at Vrhnica informed the mayor of that commune that he had
received orders to depart; he retired to the line of demarcation fixed
by the Armistice conditions.


It was ironical that a young State, struggling into life, should be
hindered, not by former enemies but by friends of its friends. The
Italians complained that the French, British and Americans were not
fraternizing with them. In the first place, it was repugnant to the
sense of justice of these nations when they saw that General di San
Marzano, after having fraudulently seized the town of Rieka and turning
its absolutely legal Governor into the street, did not ask the citizens
to organize a temporary local government, in which all parties would be
represented, but delivered, if you please, the town to fifteen
gentlemen, the I.N.C., who--at the very utmost--represented half the
population. On November 24, the local newspaper _Il Popolo_ announced in
a non-official manner that the I.N.C., in full accord with the military
command, had taken over the administration--_i poteri pubblici_. This,
by the way, was never confirmed by the representatives of the other
Allies. The I.N.C. furthermore declared null and of no effect any
intervention of the Yugoslav National Council in the affairs of the
authorities of the State of Rieka. When the Yugoslavs appealed to the
French, British or Americans they were naturally met with sympathy and
urged to have patience. Case after case of high-handed dealing was
reported to these officers. They sometimes intervened with good effect;
far more injustice would have happened; far more Croats and Autonomists,
for instance, would have been deported if the Allies had not interceded.
It was now, of course, impossible for Yugoslavs to wear their colours;
nor could they prevent the C.N.I. from hanging vast Italian flags on
Croat houses. One of the largest flags, I should imagine, in the world
swayed to and fro between Rieka's chief hotel and the tall building on
the opposite side of the square--and both these houses, mark you, were
Croat property. But the Allied officers knew very well (and the C.N.I.
knew that they knew) that more than thirty of the large buildings on the
front belonged to Croats, whereas under half a dozen were the property
of Italians or Italianists. The ineffable Mr. Edoardo Susmel, in one of
his pro-Italian books, entreats certain French and British friends of
the Yugoslavs to come for one hour to Rieka and judge for themselves.
But twenty minutes would be ample for a man of average intelligence. In
many ways the presence of the Allies grieved the C.N.I. The Allies
looked without approval at the "Giovani Fiumani," an association of
young rowdies of whose valuable services the C.N.I. availed itself. But
if these hired bands could not be dispersed they could have limits
placed upon their zeal. One of their ordinary methods was to sit in
groups in cafés or in restaurants or other places where an orchestra was
playing, then to shout for the Italian National Anthem and to make
themselves as nasty as they dared to anyone who did not rise. If
everybody rose, then they would wait a quarter of an hour and have the
music played again. The Allied officers persuaded General Grazioli to
prohibit any National Anthem in a public place. It was distasteful to
the Allied officers when a local newspaper in French--_l'Echo de
l'Adriatique_--which had been established to present the Yugoslav point
of view, was continually being suppressed. For example, on December 14,
it printed a short greeting from the Croat National Council to President
Wilson. The most anti-Italian phrase in this that I could find was:
"Their fondest hope is to justify to the world, to history and to you
the great trust you have placed in them." This was refused publication.
It is unnecessary to say that Yugoslav newspapers were confiscated and
their sale forbidden--after all, one didn't buy German or Austrian
newspapers in England during the War, and the Italians now regarded the
Croats as very pernicious enemies. _La Rassegna Italiana_ of December 15
called its first article--printed throughout in italics--"I Prussiani
dell' Adriatico," and took to its bosom an "upright American citizen"
returning from a visit to "Fiume nostra," who defined the Yugoslavs "on
account of their greed and their brutality and their spirit of intrigue
and their lack of candour as the Prussians of the Adriatic." Personally
I should submit that the Prussian spirit was not wholly lacking in those
two Italian officers who penetrated on November 25 into the dining-room
at the quarters of the Custom-house officials and informed them that
they wanted their piano. No discussion was permitted; the piano
"transferred itself," as they say in some languages, to the Italian
officers' mess. The Prussian spirit was not undeveloped in a certain Mr.
Štiglić--his name might cause his enemies to say he is a renegade,
but as my knowledge of him is confined to other matters, we will say he
is the noblest Roman of them all. He likewise had a dig at the
Custom-house officials; I know not whether he was wiping off old scores.
Appointed by the I.N.C. as director of the Excise office, he
communicated with the resident officials--Franjo Jakovčić, Ivan
Mikuličić and Grga Mažuran--on December 5, and told them to
clear out by the following Saturday, they and their families, so that in
the heart of winter forty-one persons were suddenly left homeless.


This and innumerable other manifestations of Prussianism were brought to
the attention of the French, so that it was not surprising when a
Frenchman made a few remarks in the _Rijeć_ of Zagreb. His article,
entitled "Mise au point," begins by a reference to the Yugoslav cockades
which were sometimes worn by the French sailors. This, to the Italians,
was as if an ally in the reconquered towns of Metz and Strasbourg had
sported the colours of an enemy. "The cases are not parallel," says the
Frenchman. "You have come to Rieka and to Pola as conquerors of towns
that were exhausted, yielding to the simultaneous and gigantic pressure
of the Allied armies. These towns gave themselves up. Are they on that
account your property, and are we to consider as a dead-letter the
clauses of the Armistice which settled that Pola should be occupied by
the Allies? I am not so dexterous a diplomat as to be able to follow you
along this track; let it be decided by others. But we who were present
perceived that your occupation, which you had regulated in every detail,
had a close resemblance to the entry of a circus into some provincial
town, whose population is known beforehand to be of a hostile character.
It is needless to say that this masquerade, these vibrating appeals to
fraternity that were placarded upon the walls gave us in that grey,
abandoned town an impression of complete fiasco." ["It is significant,"
writes Mr. Beaumont the Italophil, "that the Slav population ... observe
an attitude of strange reserve and diffidence. They are silent and
almost sullen. When the Italian fleet first visited Pola there was
hardly a cheer...."] "Now let me tell you," says the Frenchman, "that
our entry into Alsace was different. Foch was not obliged to send
emissaries in advance in order to decorate the houses with flags and to
erect triumphal arches. The French cockades had not nestled in the dark
hair of our Alsatian women since 1870, for forty-eight years the
tricolors had been waiting, piously folded at the bottom of those wooden
chests, waiting for us to float them in the wind of victory--nous
rentrions chez nous tout simplement. Or, vous n'êtes pas chez vous ici,
messieurs." ["Common reserve and decency should have induced the
Jugo-Slavs to abstain," says Mr. Beaumont, "from rushing to take a place
to which they were not invited ... an exclusively Italian city."]
"Whatever you may assert," says the Frenchman, "everything seems to
contradict it. Your actors play their parts with skill, but the public
is frigid. Now the decorations are tattered and the torches on the
ramparts have grown black.... Permit me, following your example, and
with courtesy, to call back the glories of old Italy, to remind myself
of the great figures that stride through your history and that give to
the world an unexampled picture of the lofty works of man. Our sailors,
who are simple and often uncultured men, have no remembrance of these
things; the brutal facts, in this whirling age in which we live, have
more power to strike their imagination. What is one to say to them when
they see their comrades stabbed, slaughtered by your men as if they were
noxious animals--yesterday at Venice, the day before that at Pola,
to-day at Rieka. Englishmen and Americans, your Allies, receive your
'sincere and fraternal hand' which holds a dagger. As a method of
pacific penetration you will avow that this is rather rudimentary and
that the laws of Romulus did not teach you such fraternity. We have also
seen you striking women in the street and disembowelling a child. What
are we to think of that, _fratelli d'Italia_? Excuse us, but we are not
accustomed to such incidents. Is it not natural that the legendary,
gallant spirit of our sailors should infect the crowd? Our bluejackets
have looked in vain for the three colours which are dear to them and
which you have excluded utterly from all your rows of flags. Well, in
default of them, they had no choice but to array themselves in the
cockades which dainty hands pinned on their uniforms.... And our
'poilus,' in their faded, mud-smeared garments walk along 'your'
streets, disdainfully regarded by your dazzling and pomaded Staff. Do
you remember that these unshaven fellows who thrust back the Boche in
1918 are the descendants of those who in 1793 conquered Italy and Europe
with bare feet? Therefore do not strike your breasts if now and then a
smile involuntarily appears upon their lips. O you who henceforth will
be known as the immortal heroes of the Piave, if our fellows see to-day
so many noble breasts, it was not seldom that they saw another portion
of your bodies."


"Yes, but that has nothing to do," some people will say, "with Rieka's
economical position. We admit that Croatia has the historical right to
the town, but we wish to be satisfied that the Croats are not moved by
reasons that would cause Rieka's ruin. It may be nowadays, owing to the
unholy alliance between Magyars and Italians, that the town, with
respect to its trade, is more in the Italian sphere than in that of
Yugoslavia." The answer to this is that Italy's share of the value of
the imports into Rieka in 1911 was 7·5 per cent. of the total, while her
share of the value of the exports amounted to 13 per cent., which proves
that Italy depends commercially more on Rieka's hinterland than does
that hinterland upon Italy. It seems to be of less significance that the
millionaires of Rieka are mostly Croats, for they might conceivably have
enriched themselves by trade with Italy. But of the nine banks, previous
to the War the Italianists were in exclusive possession of none, while
the Croats had four; of the eight shipping companies three were Croat,
three were Magyar, one British, one German--not one Italian. It is true
that some Italian writers lay it down that Rieka's progress should be
co-ordinated with that of Venice, to say nothing of Triest, and should
not be exploited by other States to the injury of the Italian Adriatic
ports. Their point of view is not at all obscure. And all disguise is
thrown to the winds in a book which has had a great success among the
Italian imperialists: _L'Adriatico et il Mediterraneo_, by Mario Alberti
(Milan, 1915--third edition). The author says that Italy, having annexed
Triest and Rieka, will be "assured for ever"; her "economic penetration"
of the Balkans "will no longer be threatened" by the projected
Galatz-Scutari (Danube-Adriatic) railway; Italian agriculture which, he
says, is already in peril, "will be rescued"; the Italian fisherman will
no longer have the ports of Triest and Rieka closed (for exportation to
Germany and Austria); the national wealth will be augmented by "several
milliards"; new fields will be open to Italian industry; her economic
(and military) domination over the Adriatic will be absolute. There
will, he continues, be no more "disturbing" competition on the part of
any foreign mercantile marine; the Adriatic will be the sole property of
Italy, and so on. It would be worth while, as a study of expressions, to
photograph a few Rieka Italianists in the act of reading these rapturous
pages.... But lest it be imagined that I have searched for the most
feeble pro-Italian arguments in order to have no difficulty in knocking
them down, I will add that their strongest argument, taken as it is from
the official report of the French Consul in 1909, appears to be that the
commerce of Croatia amounted then to only 7 per cent. of the total trade
of the port of Rieka. I am told by those who ought to know that wood
alone, which comes almost exclusively from Croatia, Slavonia, etc.,
represents 16 per cent. If other products, such as flour, wine, etc.,
are considered, 50 per cent. of the total trade must be ascribed to
Croatia, Slavonia, etc. And that does not take into account the western
Banat and other Yugoslav territories. Serbia, too, would now take her
part, so that there is no need to fear for the position of a Yugoslav
Rieka based solely--omitting Hungary and the Ukraine altogether--on her
Yugoslav hinterland. Rieka without Yugoslavia would be ruined and would
degenerate into a fishing village, with a great past and a miserable
future. This could very well be seen during the spring of 1919 when the
communications were interrupted between Rieka and Yugoslavia. At Rieka
during April eggs were 80 centimes apiece, while at Bakar, a few miles
away, they cost 25 centimes; milk at Rieka was 6 crowns the litre and at
Bakar one crown; beef was 30 crowns a kilo and at Bakar 8 crowns. Italy
was calling Rieka her pearl--a pearl of great price; the Yugoslavs said
it was the lung of their country. It is within the knowledge of the
Italianists that the prosperity of Rieka would not be advanced by making
her the last of a chain of Italian ports, but rather by making her the
first port of Yugoslavia. What has Italy to offer in comparison with the
Slovenes and the Croats? The maritime outlet of the Save valley, as well
as of the plains of Hungary beyond it, is, as Sir Arthur Evans points
out, the port of Rieka. And, in view of the mountainous nature of the
country which lies for a great distance at the back of Split and of
Dubrovnik, it would seem that Rieka--and especially when the railway
line has been shortened--will be the natural port of Belgrade.


One cannot expect in a place with Rieka's history that such
considerations as these will be debated, calmly or otherwise, but at all
events on their own merits. They will be approached with more than
ordinary passion, since so many of the people of Rieka have been
turncoats. Any man who changes sides in his religion or his nationality
or politics--presuming, and I hope this mostly was so at Rieka, that his
reasons were not base--that man will feel profoundly on these matters,
more profoundly than the average person of his new religion, nationality
or politics. He will observe the ritual, he will give utterance to his
thoughts with such an emphasis that his old comrades will dislike him
and his new associates be made uneasy. Thus a convert may not always be
the most delightful creature in the garden, and he is abundant at Rieka.
As an illustration we may study Dr. Vio. Many persons have repeated that
he has a Croat father, yet they should in fairness add that his father's
father came from Venice. But if he came from Lapland, that ought to be
no reason why the present Dr. Vio should not, if he so desires, be an
Italian. If he had, when he arrived at what is usually called the age of
discretion, inscribed himself among the sons of Italy--_à la bonheur_.
But he took no such step. He came out as a Croat of the Croats, for when
he had finished his legal studies he became a town official, but
discovered that his views--for he was known as an unbending
Croat--hindered his advancement. The party in possession of the town
council, the Autonomist party, would have none of him. At last he, in
disgust, threw up his post and went into his father's office. He was
entitled, after ten years' service, to a pension; the Autonomists
refused to grant it for the reason that he was so dour a Croat. Very
often, talking with his friends, did Dr. Vio mention this. He made a
successful appeal to the Court at Buda-Pest and a certain yearly sum was
conceded to him, which he may or may not be still obtaining. Then, to
the amazement of the Croats, he renounced his nationality and
became--no, not an Italian--a Magyar. He was now one of those who called
Hungary his "Madre Patria," and as a weapon of the ruling Hungarian
party he was employed against the Italianists. In the year 1913 the
deputy for Rieka died and Dr. Vio was a candidate, his opponent being
one of the Italianist party, Professor Zanella. Dr. Vio had the support
of the Government officials, railway officials and so forth, and was
elected. Now he was a Magyar of the Magyars: Hungarian police officials
were introduced, and Magyar, disregarding the town statutes, was
employed by them as sole official language. The citizens still speak of
those police.... The War broke out, and Dr. Vio donned a uniform,
serving chiefly on the railway line between Rieka and Zagreb. Gradually
he seems to have acquired the feeling that it was unnatural for him to
be a Magyar of the Magyars, even though he was compelled, like so many
others, to wear this uniform. But one day in 1916 when his friend and
fellow-officer, Fran Šojat, teacher at the High School at Sušak,
walked into his room at Meja, when he happened to be putting little
flags upon a map, he prophesied--King Peter and the Tzar would have been
glad to hear him. Presently, he had himself elected as the mayor, which
enabled him to leave an army so distasteful to him. How long would he
wait until he publicly became a Croat once again? He did not doubt that
the Entente would win, and told that same friend Šojat that Rieka on
the next day would be Croat. To another gentleman in June of 1918 he
said he hoped that he would be the first Yugoslav mayor of the town, and
on that day, out hunting, he sang endless Croat songs. In September, to
the mayor of Sušak, "You will see," he said, "how well we two as
mayors will work together." When the Croat National Council entered into
office at the end of October he again met Mr. Šojat, just as he was
going up to that interview in the Governor's Palace. "Jesam li ja onda
imao pravo, jesi li sada zadovoljan?" he said. ("Was I not right that
time? Are you satisfied now?") Joyfully he pressed Mr. Šojat's hand
and greeted the two other persons who were with him. And Mr. Šojat
was pleased to think that Vio would now be a good Croat, as of old. But
on the following day he was an Italian.


When I went up to see this variegated gentleman--whose personal
appearance is that of a bright yellow cat--he purred awhile upon the
sofa and then started striding up and down the room. As he sketched the
history of the town, which, he said, had always been Italian and would
insist on being so, he spoke with horror of the days when Jellačić
was in control, and then, remembering another trouble, he raised both
his hands above his head and brought them down with such a crash upon
the desk where I was writing his remarks that--but nobody burst in; the
municipal officials were accustomed to his conversation. He was reviling
at that moment certain Allied officers who had not seen fit to visit
him. "I care not!" he yelled. "We are Italian! I tell you we are
Italianissimi!" (He was glad enough, however, when his brother Hamlet,
who had remained a Yugoslav and was on friendly terms with the chief of
the carabinieri, managed to obtain for the mayor a passport to Italy,
concerning which the carabinieri had said that they must first of all
apply to Rome.) The doctor was sure that Yugoslavia would not live, for
it had two religions; and another notable defect of the Croats--"I speak
their language quite well," he said--was that in the whole of Rieka not
one ancient document was in Croatian. I was going to mention that
everywhere in Croatia until 1848 they were in Latin--but he saw what I
was on the point of saying and--"Look here! look here!" he cried, "now
look at this!" It was a type-written sheet in English, whereon was
recounted how the mayor had offered to four Admirals, who came to Rieka
on behalf of their four nations, how he had, in order to meet them in
every way--"They asked me," he said, with blankness and indignation and
forgiveness all joined in his expression--it was beautifully done--"they
asked me, the Italian mayor of this Italian town, whether it was truly
an Italian town!"--well, he had offered to take a real plebiscite, on
the basis of the last census, and the Admirals, while appreciating his
offer, had not availed themselves of it. (Maybe some one had told them
how the census officials, chiefly members of the "Giovani Fiumani," had
gone round, asking the people whether they spoke Italian and usually
filling in the papers themselves. Presumably the mayor did not propose
to allow anyone who had then been described as an Italian now to call
himself Croat.) I was just calculating what he was in 1910 when he
played a trump card and begged me to go up to the cemetery and take note
of the language used for the epitaphs. Then let me return to him on the
morrow and say what was the nationality of Rieka. There seemed to be the
question if in such a town where Yugoslavs so often use Italian as the
business language, many of them possibly might use it as the language of
death; as it happened the first Yugoslav to whom I spoke about this
point--a lawyer at whose flat I lunched the following day--produced a
little book entitled _Regolamento del Cimitero comunale di Fiume_, and
from it one could see that in the local cemetery the blessed principle
of self-determination was in fetters. Chapter iii. lays down that all
inscriptions must have the approval of the civic body. You are warned
that they will not approve of sentences or words which are indecent, and
that they prohibit all expressions and allusions that might give offence
to anyone, to moral corporations, to religions, or which are notoriously
false. No doubt, in practice, they waive the last stipulation, so that
the survivors may give praise to famous or to infamous men; but I am
told that they raised fewer difficulties for Italian wordings, and that
the stones which many people used--those which the undertakers had in
stock, with spaces left for cutting in the details--were invariably in
Italian.... I hope I have not given an unsympathetic portrait of the
mayor who has about him something lovable. Whatever Fate may have in
store for Rieka, Dr. Vio is so magnificent an emotional actor that his
future is assured. I trust it will be many years before a stone, in
Croat, Magyar or Italian, is placed above the body of this volatile
gentleman.... And then perhaps the deed of his administrative life that
will be known more universally than any other will be the omission of
an _I_ from certain postage stamps. When the old Hungarian stamps were
surcharged with the word FIUME, the sixty-third one in every sheet of
half an edition was defective and was stamped FUME.[19]


In the immediate neighbourhood of Rieka, across the bay, lies Abbazia,
which Nature and the Austrians have made into a charming spot. By the
famous "Strandweg" that winds under rocks and palm and laurel, you go to
Volosca in the easterly and to Lovrana in the westerly direction. Just
at the back of all these pretty places stands the range of Istria's
green mountains. More than twenty years ago a certain Dr. Krstić,
from the neighbourhood of Zadar, conceived the happy thought of
printing, in the peasant dialect, a newspaper which would discourse on
Italy in articles no peasant could resist. He was given subsidies, and
for some time the newspaper was published at Volosca. But perhaps the
peasants did not read it any more than those near Zadar would take in
the _Pravi Dalmatinac_ ("The Real Dalmatian"), which attempted a few
years previous to the War to preach sectionalism to the Serbo-Croats.
The Italians who came to the Abbazia district in November 1918 did not
try such methods. In the combined commune of Volosca-Abbazia the
population at the 1910 census consisted of 4309 Yugoslavs, 1534
German-Austrians, and 418 Italians. Most of the 418 had never seen
Italy; the only true Italians were some officials who had come from
other parts of Istria. The official language was Italian, which was
regarded as more elegant. The district doctor was Italian, but all the
other 29 non-official doctors were either Germans, Czechs or Croats. At
Volosca eighteen years ago there was no Croat school; when one was
opened the Italian school at once lost half its membership and before
the War had been reduced to 25 pupils. Before the War at Abbazia the
Croat school had six classes, while the Italian had ceased for lack of
patronage. The German school had 160 pupils; this has now been
dissolved, the pupils being mostly sent to the re-opened Italian school.
Thus it will be seen that efforts were required to Italianize these
places. The efforts were continued even during the War, it is said by
the ex-Empress Zita. At any rate the people who had altered their
Italian names saw that they had been premature and reassumed their
former ones. They reassumed the pre-war privileges: at Lovrana, for
example, they "ran" the village, not having allowed any communal
elections since 1905 and arranging that their Croat colleagues in the
council should all be illiterate peasants. Some Italians were interned
in 1915, as the Croats had been in 1914, but the council came again into
their hands. At the meetings they had been obliged, owing to the
council's composition, to talk Croatian; but their own predominance was
undisturbed. On their return to power during the War they displayed more
generosity, and admitted even educated Croats to the council. And if
such out-and-out Italians as the Signori Grossmann, Pegan, etc. of
Lovrana were kinder to the Yugoslavs than the Signori Grbac,
Korošać and Codrić of Rieka it may be because the gentle spirit
of the place affected them. The leading families would even intermarry;
Signor Gelletich, Lovrana's Italian potentate, gave his sister to the
Croat chieftain. But, as we have said, idylls had to end when in
November 1918 the Italian army came upon the scene. Abbazia and Volosca
and Lovrana were painted thoroughly in the Italian colours. Public
buildings, private houses--irrespective of their inmates--had patches of
green, white and red bestowed upon them. Everything was painted--some
occupation had to be found for the military, who appeared to be more
numerous than the inhabitants. Meanwhile, their commanding officers had
other brilliant ideas: an Italian kindergarten was opened at Volosca,
and the peasant women of the hills around were promised that if they
came with their children to the opening ceremony, every one of them
would be rewarded with 1 lb. of sugar. So they came and were
photographed--it looked extremely well to have so many women seizing
this first opportunity of an Italian education for their babies. Some
one at Rieka most unfortunately had forgotten to consign the sugar. The
Italian officer who was appointed to discharge the functions of podestà,
that is, mayor, of Abbazia was a certain Lieut.-Colonel Stadler. He sent
to Rome and Paris various telegrams as to the people's ardent hope of
being joined to Italy. The people's own telegrams to Paris went by a
more circuitous route. But Stadler did not seem to care much for the
French, nor yet for the English. About a dozen of the educated people,
thinking that the French might also come to Abbazia and wishing to be
able to converse with them, took lessons in that language; another
dozen, with a similar motive, had a Mr. Pošcić, a naturalized
American subject, to give them English lessons. Away with these baubles,
cried Stadler; on January 10 he stopped the lessons.


While the Italians were thus engaged, what was the state of opinion in
their own country? Would Bissolati's organ, the _Secolo_, and the
_Corriere della Sera_, which had been favourable to the Slavs since
Caporetto, have it in their power to moderate the fury of the anti-Slav
papers? Malagodi of the _Tribuna_ said on November 24 that the position
at Rieka had been remedied. But was the public fully alive to what was
happening at Zadar and Šibenik? "While these cities have been
nominally occupied by us and are under the protection of our flag, the
Italian population has never been so terrorized by Croat brutality as at
this moment." The _Mattino_ disclosed to its readers in flaring
headlines that "Yugoslav oppression cuts the throats of the Italian
population in Dalmatia and terrorizes them." Would the people of Italy
rather listen to such thrills or to the _Secolo_, which deprecated the
contemptuous writings of Italian journalists with regard to the
Slavs--the _Gazzetta del Popolo's_ "little snakes" was one of the milder
terms of opprobrium. The _Secolo_ recalled Italy's own illiterate herds
and the fact that the Italian Risorgimento was judged, not by the
indifferent and servile mass, but by its heroes. It explained that the
Treaty of London was inspired by the belief that Austria would survive,
and that for strategic reasons only it had given, not Rieka, but most of
Dalmatia and the islands to Italy.

It was calamitous for Italy that she was being governed at this moment
not by prudent statesmen such as she more frequently produces in the
north, but by southerners of the Orlando and Sonnino type. The _Giornale
d'Italia_ would at a word from the Foreign Minister have damped the
ardour of those journalists and other agitators who were fanning such a
dangerous fire. Sonnino once himself told Radović, the Montenegrin,
that he could not acquiesce in any union of the Yugoslavs, for such a
combination would be fraught with peril for Italians. And now that
Southern Slavs were forming what he dreaded, their United States, it
would have been sagacious--it was not too late--if he had set himself to
win their friendship. Incidents of an untoward nature had occurred, such
as those connected with the Austrian fleet; nine hundred Yugoslavs,
after fighting side by side with the Italians, had actually been
interned, many of them wearing Italian medals for bravery;[20] the
Yugoslavs, in fact, by these and other monstrous methods had been
provoked. But it was not too late. A Foreign Minister not blind to what
was happening in foreign countries would have seen that if he valued the
goodwill of France and England and America--and this goodwill was a
necessity for the Italians--it was incumbent on him to modify his
politics. The British Press was not unanimous--all the prominent
publicists did not, like a gentleman a few months afterwards in the
_Spectator_, say that "if the Yugoslavs contemplated a possible war
against the Italians, by whose efforts and those of France and Great
Britain they had so recently been liberated, then would the Southern
Slavs be guilty of monstrous folly and ingratitude." Baron Sonnino might
have apprehended that more knowledge of the Yugoslav-Italian situation
would produce among the Allies more hostility; he should have known that
average Frenchmen do not buy their favourite newspaper for what it says
on foreign politics, and that the _Journal des Débats_ and the
_Humanité_ have many followers who rarely read them. And, above all
else, he should have seen that the Americans, who had not signed the
Treaty of London, would decline to lend themselves to the enforcement of
an antiquated pact which was so grievously incongruous with Justice, to
say nothing of the Fourteen Points of Mr. Wilson. But Sonnino threw all
these considerations to the winds. He should have reconciled himself to
the fact that his London Treaty, if for no other reason than that it was
a secret one, belonged to a different age and was really dead; his
refusal to bury it was making him unpopular with the neighbours. One
does not expect a politician to be quite consistent, and Baron Sonnino
is, after all, not the same man who in 1881 declared that to claim
Triest as a right would be an exaggeration of the principle of
nationalities; but he should not in 1918 have been deaf to the words
which he considered of such weight when he wrote them in 1915 that he
caused them to be printed in a Green Book. "The monarchy of Savoy," he
said in a telegram to the Duke of Avarna on February 15 of that year,
"has its staunchest root in the fact that it personifies the national
ideals." Baron Sonnino was rallying to the House of Karageorgević
most of those among the Croats and Slovenes who, for some reason or
other, had been hesitating; for King Peter personified the national
ideals which the Baron was endeavouring to throttle. As Mr. Wickham
Steed pointed out in a letter to the _Corriere della Sera_, the complete
accord between Italians and Yugoslavs is not only possible and
necessary, but constitutes a European interest of the first order; if it
be not realized, the Adriatic would become not Italian nor Slav, but
German; if, on the other hand, it were brought about, then the language
and the culture, the commerce and the political influence of Italy would
not merely be maintained but would spread along the eastern Adriatic
coast and in the Balkans in a manner hitherto unhoped for; if no accord
be reached, then the Italians would see their whole influence vanish
from every place not occupied by overwhelming forces. But Sonnino, a
descendant of rancorous Levantines and obstinate Scots, went recklessly
ahead; it made you think that he was one of those unhappy people whom
the gods have settled to destroy. He neglected the most elementary
precautions; he ought to have requested, for example, that the French
and British and Americans would everywhere be represented where Yugoslav
territory was occupied. But, alas, he did not show that he disagreed
with the _Tribuna's_ lack of wisdom when it said that "the Italian
people could never tolerate that beside our flag should fly other
flags, even if friendly, for this would imply a confession of weakness
and incapacity."


The Government was in no very strong position, for the Chamber was now
moribund and the many groups which had been formed, in the effort to
create a war Chamber out of one that was elected in the days of peace,
were now dissolving. An incident towards the end of November exhibited
not only the contrivances by which these groups hoped to preserve
themselves, but the eagerness with which the Government rushed to
placate the powerful. A young deputy called Centurione, a member of the
National Defence group (the Fascio), made a furious attack on Giolitti,
under cover of a personal explanation. He had been accused of being a
police spy. Well, after Caporetto, convinced that the defeat was partly
due to the work of Socialists and Giolittians, he had disguised himself
as a workman and taken part in Socialist meetings. He was proud to have
played the spy for the good of his country, and he finished by accusing
Giolitti and six others of treason. The whole Chamber--his own party not
being strongly represented--seems to have made for Centurione who,
amidst an indescribable uproar, continued to shout "Traitor!" to anyone
who approached him. Sciorati, one of the accused, was at last able to
make himself heard. He related how, at Turin, Centurione had made a fool
of himself. (But if Lewis Carroll had been with us still he might have
made himself immortal.) "I have seen him disguised," said Sciorati, "as
an out-porter at the door of my own house." Giolitti appeared and
demanded an immediate inquiry, with what was described as cold and
menacing emphasis. And Orlando, the Prime Minister, flew up to the
Chamber and parleyed with Giolitti in the most cordial fashion.
Centurione's documents were at once investigated and no proofs of
treason were found, no witnesses proposed by him being examined. He was
expelled from the National Defence group for "indiscipline," his
colleagues frustrating his attempts to sit next to them by repeatedly
changing their seats. The attitude of the Fascio was humble and
apologetic, and the other significant feature of the incident was the
haste with which Orlando reacted to Giolitti's demand for an inquiry.


Baron Sonnino had to take into account not only the unsteadiness of the
ground on which the Government stood, owing to these parliamentary
regroupings, but the general effects that would ensue from the country's
financial position. When, in spite of the victory and the approach of
peace, the exchange price of the lira dropped 2 to 3 points towards the
end of November, this may have had, contrary to what was thought by
many, no connection with a revolutionary movement. The fact that in
Triest the authorities had been obliged to isolate Italian ex-prisoners
on their return from Russia, since they were imbued with revolutionary
principles, at any rate were uttering loud revolutionary cries, may have
been the mere temporary infection caught from their environment. But
that of which there was no doubt was the entire truth of Caroti's
statement when that deputy declared at Milan that while Italy had been
triumphant in the military sphere, she had been economically overthrown.
Bankruptcy had not been announced, though it existed. Sonnino may
therefore have been impelled not only by imperialism, by his inability
to adjust himself to the new international situation, but by the hope
that through his policy the new internal situation might be tided over.
If the thoughts of his fellow-countrymen could be directed elsewhere
than to bankruptcy and possible revolution, it might be that in the
meantime adroit measures and good luck would brush away these
disagreeable phenomena. And he would then be rightly looked upon as one
who had deserved well of his country. So he set about the task with such
a thoroughness that he turned not alone the thoughts of men, but their
heads. Professor Italo Giglioli addressed a letter to _The New Europe_
in which he said that he was claiming now not the territories given by
the Treaty of London, but considerably more. He wanted all Dalmatia,
down to Kotor. In foreign hands, he said, Dalmatia would be an eternal
danger, and besides: "What in Dalmatia is not Italian is barbaric!" It
was a melancholy spectacle to see a man of Giglioli's reputation saying
that Dubrovnik, the refuge of Slav culture in the age of darkness and
the place in which Slav literature so gloriously arose, was, forsooth,
throughout its history always Italian in culture and in literature.
"Among thinking people in Italy," proclaims the Professor, "there are
indeed but few who will abandon to the Balkan processes a region and a
people which have always been possessed by Italian culture and which
constitute the necessary wall of Italy and Western Europe against the
inroads of the half-barbaric East." He protests that it is ridiculous of
_The New Europe_ to assert that the secret Treaty of London is supported
by a tiny, discredited band of Italians; and indeed that Review has
regretfully to acknowledge that many of his countrymen have been swept
off their feet and carried onward in the gale of popular enthusiasm.
Giglioli ends by asking that his name be removed from the list of _The
New Europe's_ collaborators. In vain does the _The New Europe_ say that
the Professor's programme must involve a war between Italians and
Yugoslavs. "We must be prepared for a new war," said the _Secolo_ on
January 12. "The Italians who absolutely demand the conquest of Dalmatia
must have the courage to demand that the demobilization of our Army
should be suspended, and to say so very clearly." And the _Corriere
della Sera_ warned Orlando of the consequences if he took no steps to
silence the mad voices. "No one knows better," it wrote, "than the
Minister of the Interior, who is also Premier, that on the other coast
Italy claims that part of Dalmatia which was assigned to her by the
Treaty of London, but not more.... If the Government definitely claims
and demands the whole of Dalmatia, then the agitation is justified; but
if the Government does not demand it, then we repeat that to favour and
not to curb the movement is the worst kind of Defeatism, for it creates
among Italians a state of mind tending to transform the sense of a great
victory into the sense of a great defeat ... quite apart from the
intransigeance which this provokes in the Yugoslav camp." It was in
vain. And when Bissolati, having resigned from office on the issue of
Italo-Yugoslav relations, attempted to explain his attitude at the Scala
in Milan on January 11, his meeting was wrecked, for though the body of
the hall and the galleries were relatively quiet, if not very
sympathetic--it was a ticket meeting--the large number of subscription
boxes, which could not be closed to their ordinary tenants, had been
packed by Bissolati's adversaries, who succeeded in preventing him from
speaking. After a long delay he managed to read the opening passage, but
when he came to the first "renunciation"--the Brenner for the
Teutons--disturbance set in finally and he left the theatre. Afterwards
the rioters adjourned to the _Corriere_ and _Secolo_ offices, where they
broke the windows. And thus the first full statement of the war aims of
any Italian statesman could not be uttered. It was spread abroad by the
Press. Bissolati claimed to speak in the name of a multitude which had
hitherto been silent.... The masses, he said, demanded, that their
rulers should devote all their strength to "the divine blessing of
freeing mankind from the slavery of war." ... "To those," he said, "who
speak of the Society of Nations as an 'ideology' or 'Utopia' which has
no hold over our people, we would reply: Have you been in the trenches
among the soldiers waiting for the attack?" [Signor Bissolati had the
unique record, among Allied or enemy statesmen, of having volunteered
for active service, though past the fighting age, and of having served
in the trenches for many months before entering the Orlando Cabinet.]


The speech was an admirable expression of that new spirit which the
Allies had been fighting for. "Each of the anti-German nations," he
said, "must guard itself against any unconsciously German element in its
soul, if only in order to have the right to combat any trace in others
of the imperialism which had poisoned the outlook of the German people."
With regard to the Adriatic: "Yugoslavia exists, and no one can undo
this. But to the credit of Italy be it said, the attainment of unity and
independence for the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was and must be alike
the reason and the certain issue of our War.... Italy felt that if
Serbia had been swallowed up by that monstrous Empire--itself a vassal
of the German Empire--her own economic expansion and political
independence would have received a mortal blow. And so she was on
Serbia's side, first in neutrality, then in intervention.... Those who
only see, in the formation of the Yugoslav State, a sympathetic or
antipathetic episode of the War, or a subsidiary effect of it, have
failed to detect its inner meaning." As for the Treaty of London which
was concluded against the enemy, it was not to be regarded as intangible
against a friendly people. By special grants of autonomy, as at Zadar,
or by arrangements between the two States, he would see the language and
culture of all the trans-Adriatic sons of Italy assured. He warned his
countrymen lest, in order to meet the peril of a German-Slav alliance
against them, they should have to subordinate themselves to France and
England, and be their protégés instead of their real Allies--a situation
not unlike that of the Triple Alliance when Germany protected them
against the ever-imminent attack of Austria.... "But perhaps the
Yugoslavs will not be grateful or show an equal spirit of conciliation?
Certainly they will then have no vital interests to push against Italy,
and in the long run sentiments follow interests." There was, in fact,
throughout the speech only one questionable passage, that in which he
said that "if Italy renounced the annexation of Dalmatia she might
obtain from Yugoslavia or from the Peace Conference the joy of pressing
to her heart the most Italian city of Rieka, which the Treaty of London
renounced." This may have been a sop to Cerberus. But Bissolati's
appeals to justice and to wisdom fell upon the same stony ground as his
demonstration that Dalmatia's strategic value is very slight from a
defensive point of view to those who possess Pola, Valona and the outer
islands. There is a school of reasonable Italians, such as Giuseppe
Prezzolini, who for strategic reasons asked for the isle of Vis. Mazzini
himself, after 1866, found it necessary, for the same reasons, that Vis
should be Italian, since it is the key of the Adriatic. Some of us
thought that it might have been feasible to follow the precedent of
Port Mahon, which Great Britain occupied without exercising sovereignty
over the rest of the island of Minorca. The magnificent harbour of Vis,
perfectly protected against the bora, would have satisfied all the
demands of the Italian navy. Vis is to-day practically as much Slav as
Minorca was Spanish, and if the Slavs had been left in possession of the
remainder of that island it would have proved the reverse of a danger to
the Italians, since with a moderate amount of good sense the same
relations would have existed as was the case upon Minorca.... The
solution which was ultimately found in the Treaty of Rapallo was to
allocate to the Italians in complete sovereignty not the island of Vis,
but the smaller neighbouring island of Lastovo.

While the vast majority of Italians would not listen to Bissolati they
delighted in Gabriele d'Annunzio. The great poet Carducci[21] had his
heart full when he thought about the ragged, starving Croat soldiers,
pitiable victims of the Habsburgs, exploited by them all their lives and
fighting for them in a foreign land--and they fought bravely; but as
they were often clad in miserable garments, they were called by those
who wanted to revile them "Croat dirt." And that is what they are to
Gabriele d'Annunzio. When the controversies of to-day have long been
buried and when d'Annunzio's works are read, his lovers will be stabbed
by his _Lettera ai Dalmati_. And if the mob had to be told precisely
what the Allies are, it did not need a lord of language to dilate upon
"the thirty-two teeth of Wilson's undecipherable smile," to say that the
French "drunk with victory, again fly all their plumes in the wind, tune
up all their fanfares, quicken their pace in order to pass the most
resolute and speedy--and we step aside to let them pass." No laurel will
be added to his fame for having spoken of "the people of the five meals"
[the English] which, "its bloody work hardly ended, reopens its jaws to
devour as much as it can." All Italy resounded with the catchword that
the Croats had been Austria's most faithful servants, although some
Italians, such as Admiral Millo, as we shall see, when writing
confidentially, did not say anything so foolish. Very frequently,
however, as the Croats noticed, those who had been the most
uncompromising wielders of Austria's despotism were taken on by Italy,
the new despot. For example, at Split when the mayor and other Yugoslav
leaders were arrested at the beginning of the War, one Francis
Mandirazza was appointed as Government Commissary, after having filled
the political post of district captain (Bezirkshauptmann) which was only
given to those who were in the entire confidence of the Government. As
soon as the Italians had possession of Šibenik they took him into
their service.


_The New Europe_, whose directors had taken a chief part in bringing the
Italians and the Yugoslavs together, which congress had resulted in the
Pact of Rome, of April 1918, pointed out that in those dark days of the
high-water mark of the great German offensive, this Pact--which provided
the framework of an agreement, on the principle of "live and let
live"--was publicly approved of by the Italian Premier and his
colleagues, but was rejected now when the danger was past and Austria
was broken up. Those who brought about the Pact reminded Italy that she
was bound to it by honour and that the South Slav statesmen never had
withdrawn from the position which it placed them in with reference to
Italy.... Everyone must sympathize with the disappointment of those
gentlemen who--Messrs. Franklin-Bouillon, Wickham Steed and Seton-Watson
were associated in this endeavour--had striven for a noble end, had
achieved something in spite of many obstacles, and now saw that one
party simply would not use the bridge which they had built for it. This
party had, however, shown such reticence both while the bridge was being
made and afterwards that one could scarcely be astonished at their
attitude. The Congress at Rome was in no sense official, but a
voluntary meeting of private persons, who were got together with a
certain amount of trouble. So unofficial, in fact, was the Congress that
those Serbs who worked with the representatives of the Yugoslav
Committee belonged to the Opposition; the Serbian Government, then in
Corfu, not giving their adhesion to the Congress, which was perhaps a
very clever move on the part of Pašić. Whether it be true or not
that Signor Amendolla, the General Secretary--he is the political
director of the _Corriere della Sera_--was asked by the Yugoslav
Committee not to admit any Serbian deputies except those of the
Opposition, it appears that no other Serbs took a part in the
proceedings. The Italian Government adopted an ambiguous attitude, for
while Orlando publicly endorsed the resolutions, as did several other
Ministers, notably Bissolati, the Premier gave no confirmation to those
who interpreted his attitude as implying the tacit abandonment of
Italy's extreme territorial claims. Sonnino was so reserved that he took
no share at all in the Congress and refused to receive the Yugoslavs. He
made no secret of his determination to exact the London Treaty. Nothing
was signed by the Italian Government; and if Orlando's honour was
involved it certainly does not seem possible to say the same of Sonnino.
It may be that Pašić foresaw what would happen and was therefore
unwilling to be implicated. He is an astute statesman of the old
school--"too old," says _The New Europe_, which regards him as an
Oriental sultan. But respecting the Pact of Rome they were rather at
issue with the Italians. What the Italians gained was that the various
clauses of the Pact were used as the basis for propaganda in the
Austrian ranks on the Piave. And when once the Austrian peril had
vanished the old rancour reappeared, particularly when, by the terms of
the military armistice with Austria, Italy obtained the right to occupy
a zone corresponding with what she was given by the London Treaty.
Whereas in that instrument the frontiers were exactly indicated, there
was in the Pact of Rome no more than a general agreement that the
principles of nationality and self-determination should be applied, with
due regard to other "vital interests." Bissolati's group was in favour
of something more definite, but to this Orlando was not well disposed;
and Trumbić, the President of the Yugoslav Committee, did not avail
himself of the, perhaps rather useless, offer of some Serbs who were not
participating in the Congress, but suggested that while he worked with
the Government they would keep in touch with the Bissolati group; even
as Bismarck who would work openly with a Government, and through his
agents with the Opposition.


As the Serbian Society of Great Britain observed in a letter of welcome
which they addressed to Baron Sonnino on the occasion of a visit to
London, they were convinced "after a close study and experience of the
Southern Slav question in all its aspects and some knowledge of the
Adriatic problem as a whole, that there is no necessary or inevitable
conflict between the aspiration of the Southern Slav people towards
complete unity and the postulates of Italian national security and of
the completion of Italian unity; but that, on the contrary, there exist
strong grounds for Italo-Southern Slav co-operation and friendship." The
Italian Government, however, had now got almost their whole country
behind them, and in the months after the War so many Italians had become
warlike that they were enchanted with the picture drawn by Gabriele
d'Annunzio: "And what peace will in the end be imposed on us, poor
little ones of Christ? A Gallic peace? A British peace? A star-spangled
peace? Then, no! Enough! Victorious Italy--the most victorious of all
the nations--victorious over herself and over the enemy--will have on
the Alps and over her sea the _Pax Romana_, the sole peace that is
fitting. If necessary we will meet the new plot in the fashion of the
Arditi [units of volunteers employed on specially dangerous
enterprises], a grenade in each hand and a knife between our teeth." It
is true that the other poor little ones of Christ, the Franciscans, who
are greatly beloved by the people of Dalmatia, from whom they are
sprung, have hitherto preached a different _Pax Romana_. The Dalmatian
clergy, who are patriotic, have been rather a stumbling-block in the
way of the Italians. A very small percentage of them--about six in a
thousand--have been anti-national and opportunist. At one place a priest
whom his bishop had some years ago had occasion to expel, returned with
the Italian army in November 1918 and informed the bishop that he had a
letter from the Pope which reinstated him, but he refused to show this
letter. He was anxious to preach on the following Sunday; the bishop
declined to allow him. Then came unto the bishop the chief of the
Italian soldiery and he said unto him: "Either thou shalt permit this
man to preach or I will cause thine office to be taken from thee."
Unfortunately the bishop yielded, and the sermon, as one would imagine,
was devoted to the greater glory of the Italians. Sometimes the
Italians, since their occupation, have made a more humorous if not more
successful use of the Church. On Palm Sunday, after the service a number
of peasants, in their best clothes, were walking through a village
holding the usual palm leaves in their hands. They were photographed,
and a popular Italian newspaper printed this as a full-page coloured
illustration. It was entitled: "Dalmatian Peasants on their way to pay
Homage to Admiral Millo."

This policy of a grenade in each hand and a knife between the teeth
makes a powerful appeal to the munition firms. And others who feed the
flame of Italo-Slav hatred are, as Gaetano Salvemini, the
anti-chauvinist, pointed out in the _Unità_ of Florence, those
professional gladiators who would lose their job, those agents of the
Italo-German-Levantine capitalism of the Triest Chamber of Commerce who
want to be rid of the competition of Rieka and think that this can only
be obtained by annexation, and also those Italian Nationalists who
believe that the only path to national greatness is by acquiring
territory everywhere. No light has come to them from the East; the same
arguments which are now put forward by such societies as the "Pro
Dalmatia" could be heard in Italy before she possessed herself of
Tripoli. One heard the same talk of strategic necessities; one heard
that nearly all the population was waiting with open arms for the
Italians; one heard that from a business point of view nothing could be
better; one heard that the Italians without Tripoli would be choked out
of the Mediterranean. And what have been the fruits of the conquest of
Tripoli? No economic advantages have been procured, as Prezzolini wrote,
no sociological, no strategic, no diplomatic benefits. A great deal of
money was thrown away, a vast amount of energy was wasted, and thousands
of troops have to be stationed permanently in the wilderness. That
expedition to Tripoli, which was one of the gravest errors of Italian
politics, was preceded by clouds of forged documents, of absurdities, of
partial extracts out of consular reports, of lying correspondence which
succeeded in misleading the Italians.


"The Italian Government," said the _Morning Post_,[22] "is well
qualified to judge of the interests of its own people." Here the
_Morning Post_ is not speaking of the Italian Government which dealt
with Tripoli, but that which has been dealing with Dalmatia. The reasons
which have been advanced for an Italian or a partly Italian Dalmatia are
geographical, botanical, historical, ethnical, military, naval and
economic. As for the geographical reasons: even in the schools of Italy
they teach that the Italian natural frontier is determined by the point
of division of the waters of the Alps and that this frontier falls at
Porto Ré, a few miles to the south of Rieka--everything to the south of
that belonging to the Balkan Peninsula. We may note the gallant
patriotism of an Italian cartographer mentioned by Prezzolini; this
worthy has inscribed a map of Dalmatia down to the Narenta with the
pleasing words: "The new natural boundaries of Italy." As for the
argument that the flora of Dalmatia resembles that of Italy, this can
equally well be employed by those who would annex Italy to Dalmatia.
Historically, we have seen that Venice, which held for many years the
seacoast and the islands, did not alter the Slav character of the
country. It is not now the question as to whether Venice deserved or did
not deserve well of Dalmatia, but "the truth is," says M. Emile
Haumant,[23] the learned and impartial French historian, "the truth is
that when Marmont's Frenchmen arrived they found the Slav language
everywhere, the Italian by its side on the islands and the coast,
Italian customs and culture in the towns, and also the lively and
sometimes affectionate remembrance of Venice; but nowhere did a
Dalmatian tell them that he was an Italian. On the contrary, they all
affirmed that they were brothers of the Slav beyond, in whose
misfortunes they shared and whose successes they celebrated." The
Italians themselves, in achieving their unity, were very right to set
aside the undoubted historical claims of the Kingdom of the Two
Sicilies, those of the House of Este and those of the Vatican, seeing
that they were in opposition to the principle of nationality and the
right of a people to determine its own political status. With regard to
the ethnical reasons, we are flogging another dead horse, as the
statistics--even those taken during the Italian occupation--prove to the
meanest intellect; and now the pro-Italians, despairing to make anyone
believe that the 97·5 per cent. of the people of Dalmatia are truly
Italians who by some kink in their nature persist in calling themselves
Slavs, have invented a brand new nationality, the Dalmatian, after the
classic style of the late Professor Jagić who at Vienna, under the
pressure of the Austrian Government, began talking of the Bosnian
language in order not to say that it is Serbo-Croat. He was drowned in
laughter. With respect to the military reasons, the Dalmatian littoral
cannot be defended by a State which is not in possession of the
hinterland. In time of peace a very strong army would be needed; Italy
would, in fact, have to double her army for the defence of a frontier
700 kilometres long. And in the event of war it would be necessary
either to abandon Dalmatia or to form two armies of operation, one on
the frontiers of Julian Venetia, the other in Dalmatia, and without any
liaison between them. From the military point of view it is incomparably
more to the interest of Italy that she should live on friendly terms
with the people of the eastern shore of the Adriatic than that she
should maintain there an army out of all proportion to her military and
economic resources--an army which in time of war would be worse than
useless, since, as M. Gauvain observes, the submarines, which would find
their nesting-places in the islands, would destroy the lines of
communication. An Italian naval argument is, that if she had to fight on
the eastern side of the Adriatic her sailors in the morning would have
the sun in their eyes; but the Yugoslavs would be similarly handicapped
in the case of an evening battle. With regard to the economic reasons,
the longitudinal lines will continue to guarantee to the Germans and
Magyars the commercial monopoly of the East, and Italy will perceive
that she has paid very dearly for a blocked-up window. The sole method
by which Italy can from the Adriatic cause her commerce to penetrate to
the Balkans is by concluding with a friendly Yugoslavia the requisite
commercial treaties, which will grow more valuable with the construction
of the lateral railways, running inland from the coast, which Austrians
and Magyars so constantly impeded.


If, then, it is difficult to see where the Italian interests will be
profited by the possession of Dalmatia, there remains the argument that,
irrespective of the consequences, she must have a good deal of it since
it was allotted to her by the Treaty of London,[24] although the
engagements entered into by Italy, France and Great Britain when they
signed the Treaty with Germany caused the earlier instrument to be
subject to revision where its terms had been disregarded. Signor
Orlando, in an interview granted in April 1918 to the _Journal des
Débats_, eagerly insisted that the Treaty had been concluded against the
Austrian enemy, not against the Yugoslav nation; and if this be more
than a mere phrase it is clear that with the disappearance of
Austria-Hungary the Treaty automatically fell to the ground. By this
Treaty of April 1915, France and Great Britain are bound--if necessary,
by force of arms--to assist Italy in appropriating what, I believe, will
be acknowledged to be some one else's country, at all events a country
the vast proportion of whose inhabitants have determined that on no
account will they come under the Italians. Would it not have been
advisable if those who signed this document had made a few not very
recondite researches into eastern Adriatic questions? They must have
felt some qualms at the cries of indignation and amazement which arose
when the provisions of the Treaty were disclosed, for it did not remain
a secret very long. They had imagined, on the whole, that as Dalmatia
had been under alien rulers, Venetian, Austrian and so forth, for so
many years it really would not matter to them very much if they were
governed from Vienna or from Rome. Perhaps a statesman here and there
had heard that the Dalmatian Diet had petitioned many times since 1870
that they should be reunited to their brothers of Croatia and Slavonia
in the Triune Kingdom. But all the calculations seem to have been made
upon the basis that Austria-Hungary would survive, as a fairly
formidable Power at any rate. The union of the Southern Slavs was too
remote, and the Italians would be kindly masters. When the howl of
indignation rose, the statesmen seem to have conceived the hope that the
Italians would be generous and wise. The chief blame for the Treaty does
not rest, however, on the Frenchmen and the Englishmen, but on the
Russians; it was naturally felt that they should be more cognizant of
Slav affairs, and if they were content to sign the Treaty, France and
England might well follow their example. When Dr. Zarić, the Bishop
of Split, saw the former Russian Foreign Minister, M. Sazonov, in Paris
in the spring of 1919, this gentleman was in a state of such dejection
that the Bishop, out of pity, did not try to probe the matter.
"Sometimes," said Sazonov, "sometimes the circumstances are too much
opposed to you and you have to act against your inclinations."[25] The
French and British statesmen gave the Bishop the impression that they
were ashamed of the Treaty. He read to them in turn a memorandum in
which he suggested that the whole Dalmatian question should be left to
the arbitration of President Wilson, who was well informed, through
experts, of the local conditions. And was it, in any case, just that an
Italian, both claimant and judge, should sit on the Council of Four, to
which no Yugoslav was admitted? To President Wilson the Bishop said,
"You have come to fight for the just cause."

The President made no reply.

The Bishop, a native of the island of Hvar, a great linguist, was a man
who made you think that a very distinguished mind had entered the body
of the late Cardinal Vaughan. To him the most noticeable features of the
President were the clear brow, the mystic eyes and the mouth which
showed that he stood firmly on the ground.

"You have come to work and fight for the peace," said the Bishop.

"Yes, indeed, to fight," said Dr. Wilson. "And I will act with all my
energy. You," he said, "you must help me."

"I will help you," said the Bishop, "with my prayers."

The Yugoslav Delegation in Paris had, on the authority of the Belgrade
Cabinet, suggested that the question should be arbitrated.

"The Italians have declined the arbitration," said Dr. Zarić, "just
as in the War Germany and Austria declined yours."

The President nodded.

"They have committed many disorders in our fair land," said the Bishop.

"I know, I know," said the President.

But, it will be asked, why did not Dr. Wilson insist on a just
settlement of the Adriatic question, taking into his own hands that
which Mr. Lloyd George and M. Clemenceau were so chary of touching?
These two statesmen, with the London Treaty hanging over them, wanted
Wilson's assent for matters in which British and French interests were
more directly concerned, while they required Sonnino's co-operation in
the Treaty with Germany. It would have suited them very well if Wilson
had taken such energetic steps with Italy that they themselves could,
suitably protesting to Sonnino, be swept along by the presidential
righteousness. But Dr. Wilson was disappointing those who had--in the
first place because of the lofty language of his Notes--awaited a really
great man. He was seen to be out of his depth; strenuously he sought to
rescue his Fourteen Points and to steer the Covenant of the League
through the rocks and shallows of European diplomacy. Sonnino, playing
for time, involved the good Wilson in a maze of confused negotiations,
while nearly every organ of Italian official and unofficial opinion was
defaming the President. On April 15 Dr. Wilson in a memorandum suggested
the famous "Wilson Line" in Istria, which thrust the Italian frontier
westwards, so that Rieka should be safeguarded from the threat of an
Italian occupation of Monte Maggiore. Italy was to give up northern
Dalmatia and all the islands, save Lussin and Vis; in return she was to
be protected by measures limiting the naval and military powers of
Yugoslavia. When Wilson appealed over the head of the Italian Government
to the people, their passions had been excited to such a degree that
much more harm was done than good. It is said that he had promised
Messrs. Lloyd George and Clemenceau that he would not publish his letter
for three hours, but that--pride of authorship triumphing over
prudence--it was circulated to the Press two hours before this time was
up, and a compromise which had been worked out by Mr. Lloyd George had
perforce to be abandoned. This was one of the occasions when the
President's impulsiveness burst out through his cold exterior, when his
strength of purpose, his grim determination to fight for justice were
undermined by his egotism.


For months the Italians had been consoling themselves with the thought
that such a hybrid affair as Yugoslavia would never really come into
existence. Some visionaries might attempt to join the Serbs and Croats
and Slovenes, yet these must be as rare as Blake, who testified that
"when others see but the dawn coming over the hill, I see the sons of
God shouting for joy." One only had to listen, one could hear already
how they were growling, how they were quarrelling, how they were killing
each other. In Montenegro, for example, and Albania the Italians were
greatly interested--not always as spectators. If you tell a hungry
Montenegrin peasant in the winter that there is a chance of his
obtaining flour and--well, that he may have to fight for it, but he will
get good booty at Cetinje, he will go there. In January 1919 there was a
battle. "The Montenegrin people rose in rebellion against the Serbians
to recover their independence," said an Italian writer, one Dr. Attilio
Tamaro in a weekly paper called _Modern Italy_, which was published in
London. "This intensely popular revolt, animated by the heroically
patriotic spirit of the Montenegrins, was relentlessly suffocated in
blood. In the little city of Cetinje alone, where there are but a few
thousand inhabitants, over 400 were killed and wounded. The Serbians and
the French together accomplished this sanguinary repression. We repeat,
it is painful to see the French lend their men, their blood and their
glorious arms to the carrying out of the low intrigues of Balkan
politics." The money and the arms that were found on the dead and
captured rebels were Italian. If the schemes of the Italians had not
been upset by the timely arrival of the Yugoslav forces, with the few
Frenchmen, they would have occupied Cetinje and restored the traitor
king. As it was, they occupied Antivari, from which place they smuggled
arms and munitions into the country. They conspired with the adherents
of the old régime, a very small body of men who were enormously alarmed
at the loss of their privileged position. The chief of them was Jovan
Plamenac, a former Minister whom the people at Podgorica had refused to
hear, a few weeks previously, when he attempted to address them. He was
hated on account of the most ruthless fashion in which, as Minister, he
had executed certain of his master's critics at Kolašin. There was a
time, during the first Balkan War, when he advocated union with Serbia
and on April 6, 1916, he wrote in the _Bosnische Post_ of Sarajevo that
Nikita, owing to his flight, "may be regarded as no longer existing."
But his unpopularity remained and, with vengeance burning in his heart,
he went from Podgorica to the Italians. They concocted a nice plan--he
was to raise an army of his countrymen and the Italians would bring
their garrison from Scutari. On January 1 Plamenac and his partisans
tried to seize Virpazar, on the Lake of Scutari--the Commandant of the
Italian troops at Scutari, one Molinaro, had asked the chief of the
Allied troops, three days before this attempt, whether he might dispatch
two companies to that place for the purpose of suppressing the disorders
which had not yet come to pass. Another rising was engineered at
Cetinje, where twenty or thirty of the poor peasants who had let
themselves be talked over by Plamenac were killed; the rest of the
misguided fellows were sent home, only their leaders being detained.
Plamenac himself escaped to Albania.[26] On the side of the Montenegrin
Provisional Government no regular troops were available, as the Yugoslav
soldiers who had lately arrived were engaged in policing other parts of
the country. Volunteers were needed and a body of young men, mostly
students, enrolled themselves. They were so busy that they omitted to
inform Mr. Ronald M'Neill, M.P., that they really were Montenegrin
students. That indignant gentleman insists that they were Serbs, armed
with French and British rifles, against which, he tells us (in the
_Nineteenth Century_, January 1921) the insurgents could not do much.
Eleven of these volunteers were killed and they were buried underneath
the tree where Nikita used to administer his brand of justice. All kinds
of incriminating documents were found upon the dead and captured rebels,
as also a significant letter from the Italian Minister accredited to
Nikita, which was addressed to the chancellor of the Italian Legation at
Cetinje. An inter-Allied Commission, over which General Franchet
d'Espérey presided, issued their report on February 8 at Podgorica. "All
the troops," it said, "in Montenegro are Yugoslavs and not Serbs; there
are not more than 500 of them." It further stated that the rebellion had
been provoked by certain agents of the ex-King, assisted by some Italian
agents. As for the ridiculous Italian charge which I quoted, accusing
the French of a share in the low intrigues of Balkan politics, this
participation consisted in their General at Kotor demanding of
Darković, the leader of the Montenegrin deputies, that his followers
and the rebels should not come to blows. The reply, which annoyed the
General, was to the effect that if the rebels made an attack, then
Darković with his scratch forces would defend himself--and the battle
lasted for two or three days. A junior French officer, who had been in
command of a small detachment at Cetinje, told me that the noise of
firing had awakened him every night and he had not the least idea what
it was all about. But the French had a pretty accurate idea of the
nationality of the "brigands" who on December 29 fired on the SS.
_Skroda_ and _Satyre_ near the village of Samouritch when it was
carrying a cargo of flour up the Bojana for the Montenegrins. These
vessels were sailing under the French flag and the "brigands," about
fifty in number, were armed with machine guns. An International
Commission established these facts, as also that the Italian ship
_Vedeta_ passed up the river just before the outrage and the _Mafalda_
just after it, and neither of them was molested. In consequence of what
occurred and as practically all the supplies for Montenegro had at that
time to be sent by the Bojana, General Dufour, in the absence of French
troops, authorized the Serbs on February 12 to occupy the commanding
position of Tarabosh.


These Yugoslav troops had been detached from the left wing of the
Salonica forces and had come overland in order to deal with the
situation in Montenegro. The Austrians had been in a woeful plight; it
was regarded as a punishment to serve in Montenegro and Albania, not
only because of the lack of amenities and the unruly spirit of the
people, but also for the reason that the officers who came there--many
managed to avoid it--were too often causes of dissatisfaction. More
complaints had gone up from this front than from any other. The supplies
allotted by the High Command in Austria were ample, as the Rieka depots
testified, but a great deal did not reach its proper destination. Some
officers took down their wives or other ladies, loading up the army
motor-cars with luxuries of food and grand pianos, while the men were
forced to tramp enormous distances; if anyone fell out, the natives in
Albania would emerge from where they had been hiding and would deprive
the wretched man of his equipment and his clothing, and perhaps his
life. The sanitary section of that Austrian army was not good; it
happened frequently that victims of malaria and wounded men were told to
walk--if they arrived, so much the better. These poor fellows did not
know that if they ultimately got back to Vienna they might be the
objects of Imperial solicitude--the least to be dreaded was the Archduke
Salvator, who was wont to come to a hospital, with his wife, and to
bestow on every man a coloured picture-postcard of their Imperial and
Royal persons, with a sentence printed underneath respecting their
paternal and maternal love; it was officially reported in Vienna, of
another hospital, that those who lay there had been spending "happy
hours" in "the circle of the exalted Family"--this referred to the
Archduchess Maria Immaculata, whose compositions for the piano are said
to be beyond all criticism; she herself did not play them, but would sit
there while they were inflicted by a courtier on the helpless men. Not
very enviable was the lot of those Magyar officers who were taken to
that hospital in Buda-Pest over which the Archduchess Augusta, a
strikingly ugly woman, presided. It was a regulation that no wounds were
allowed to be dressed until the Archduchess, arrayed in uniform and
armed with a revolver, made her appearance of an evening. The officers
were told that it was etiquette for them to broach a pleasant
conversation with their benefactress. But the most dangerous Habsburg
was the Archduchess Blanka, who was interested in medicine; she had
thought out for herself a remedy which human ailments never would
withstand, but which was more especially effective in cases of
tuberculosis, of malaria and of kidney diseases. At the hospital in the
Kirchstetterngasse she had a ward entirely devoted to kidneys. Her
treatment consisted in hot bandages of corn-flowers; the patients were
packed in these bandages and that was all that was done to them. With
regard to the diet, there were no particular regulations. Some of the
men were sent from there to another and less original hospital, but it
was often too late.


The Montenegrins who had been for so long--some of them for three
years--leading a congenial life among their rocks, descending now and
then to kill an Austrian and to gather booty, were most active when the
ill-starred Imperial army was retiring. Six hundred Austrians, for
instance, took the road from Kolašin with the intention of marching
to Lieva Rieka, a distance of 45 kilometres. Thirty-five of them arrived
there. Thus the population avenged such incidents as the hanging by the
Austrian authorities of the brother of the ex-Minister General
Vešović,[27] the General having taken to the hills and his brother
being executed by way of reprisal. The Austrians had now to pay the
penalty of ruthlessness; on September 1, 1917, Count Clam Martinić,
the Military Governor, issued Order No. 3110 which stated that: "In
consequence of the recent inquiry having revealed the fact that
telegraph and telephone wires have been cut by civilians, we make the
following order:

     "1. Persons caught red-handed in acts of sabotage will be
     summarily shot, their houses will be razed to the ground and
     their property confiscated by the Military Administration

     "2. If the author of the outrage cannot be found, the
     procedure will be as follows:--

       "(_a_) The commune where the act of sabotage has taken place
       will be condemned to a heavy fine. If the sum demanded is not
       paid within forty-eight hours, the cattle will be seized.

       "(_b_) Hostages will be taken who, if the cases of sabotage
       are repeated, will be executed in their commune."

Life under the Austrians had become unendurable. Typhoid fever, marsh
fever, typhus and dysentery assumed such proportions that in the towns
and villages one saw--apart from such notices as Order No. 3110--no
other bills posted up on the walls but those containing advice as to the
correct way of nursing the sick. While poor wretches were dying of
hunger in the hospitals and on the high road for want of bread, the
authorities published a recipe for the making of wheat-butter, which was
a recent discovery of German science, reputed to be very nourishing for
debilitated organisms. But the price of a kilo (2 lb.) of wheat was 12
crowns (about 10s.). When the epidemic of typhus, which broke out in
Cetinje and in the Njeguš clan, reached alarming proportions and
spread to other districts, the medical authorities advertised that
household effects and linen should be washed with water and potatoes. A
kilo of potatoes, in the autumn of 1917, cost a price equivalent to 6s.,
a quart of oil cost £2, 10s., a quart of milk 5s., a kilo of coffee £2,
18s. 4d., a yard of cloth £4, 4s. to £6, 6s., a pair of boots £8, 7s. An
average of 200 persons--mainly women and children--were dying every day
of starvation.

The Austrian army in retreat was incapable of action. It occupied a line
east of Podgorica: Bioce-Tuzi-Lake of Scutari, with very few guns. The
troops were scanty, they were weakened by malaria, etc.; but the
Italians pursued them with great caution. The chief enemies were
Albanians and Montenegrins. The wily Austrians gave rifles to the
Albanians in order that they should attack the Montenegrins, but they
were often used against their former owners. Then the contingents of the
Salonica army came across the mountains, and when the Austrians went
north, as best they could, the Yugoslavs of the Imperial and Royal
army--Bosniaks were well represented--pinned on their tunics the
national colours and were greeted by the inhabitants. Arriving at
Cetinje they heard the incredible news that a Yugoslav State had been
founded, that the Austrian navy had been handed over to the Yugoslavs,
that French and Italians were already at Kotor. During the journey to
that port the commanders were depressed, but the rank and file rejoiced
at the idea of going home. Discipline was at an end. Thousands of
rockets were fired into the air. It was the end of the Habsburg


The next thing for the Montenegrins to do was to depose Nikita. By a
futile proclamation that personage had tried in October to resist the
union of the Yugoslavs; he had made a last desperate attempt to save his
crown. "I am ready to do," he said, "what my people desires." He
plaintively protested that all his life had been dedicated to their
service and now he wanted to go back to ascertain precisely what they
wished. "Montenegro," he had said, "belongs to a nation of heroes, who
fought with honour for the highest ideals." But when on November 24 the
Great National Skupština met, and when on the 26th it unanimously
deposed him--the old gentleman was wise enough to follow the advice of
some French statesmen and remain where he was. "Here am I amongst you,
dressed in our beautiful national costume," he said at Neuilly to his
supporters, on one of the occasions when he denied that he had been a
traitor or anything so dreadful. But being a prudent old gentleman he
refrained from uttering these words at Podgorica, where the Skupština
had met; a better plan was to communicate with the Press Association, in
the hope that many editors would print his words. If it was a final
anti-climax for a mediæval prince--ah well, what is life but one long
anti-climax? He would protest against the constitution of the
Skupština. He had by no means given his approval to the new election
laws; and if, contrary to his own practice, the gendarmes were having
nothing to do with the urns, that was merely in order to curry favour
with the Western Powers. The deputies were chosen by the people
indirectly--that is to say, every ten men elected a representative, and
these in their turn elected the deputies. This was not done by ballot,
for Montenegro, like Hungary, had never known the ballot. An absurd
outcry was raised by Nikita's band of adventurers and their unhappy
dupes in this country; they called the world to witness this most
palpable iniquity on the part of the Serbs, whose armed forces had
rushed across the mountains, and the moment they arrived in Montenegro
had so overawed the population that this pro-Serb, pro-Yugoslav
Skupština was duly chosen. Go to! Of course it was a sad
disappointment to Nikita that a Yugoslav instead of an Italian army
should occupy Montenegro. He had telegraphed at the beginning of the War
to Belgrade that: "Serbia may rely on the brotherly and unconditional
support of Montenegro, in this moment on which depends the fate of the
Serbian nation, as well as on any other occasion"; and since he knew,
without any telegram, that Serbia would in her turn support
Montenegro--but not the tiny pro-Nikita faction--he was reduced to the
appalling straits of a plot to force himself upon his own people by
means of a foreign army. Now the composition of the aforementioned
Yugoslav forces should be noted--after more than six years of heroic
fighting against the Turks, the Bulgars, the Austro-Germans, the
Albanian blizzards, and again the Bulgars and the Austro-Germans there
did not survive a very large number of the splendid veterans of Marshal
Mišić, and in Macedonia the ranks were filled by Yugoslav
volunteers from the United States. Many of these Yugoslavs (over half of
them Dalmatians and Bosnians) were included, in the army which entered
Montenegro. The whole force at the time of the National Skupština
consisted of about 200 men, ten of whom were Serbs from the old
kingdom--and if anyone maintains that 200 men could impose their will
upon a population of 350,000 which has arms enough and is skilful in the
use of arms, he makes it clear that he knows little of the Montenegrins.


The Podgorica Skupština was not elected by these troops. No one will
pretend that in the excitement of those days the voting was conducted in
a calm and methodical fashion. Here and there a dead man was elected;
the proceedings--though they were not faked, as in Nikita's time--were
rough-and-ready. But if the deputies had been selected in a more
haphazard fashion, say according to the first letter of their surnames,
the result would have been identical--they would, with a crushing
majority, have deposed their King and voted for the merging of their
country in the rest of Yugoslavia. If the former Skupština had been
convoked, as some people advocated--it would have most effectively
nonplussed the pro-Nikita party here and elsewhere (it might even have
silenced Mr. Ronald M'Neill, M.P., who asserted[28] that this "packed
assembly" consisted of "Serbian subjects and bought agents in about
equal numbers")--but then two-fifths of the country--those territories
acquired in the Balkan War--would not have been represented. Observe,
however, that the Skupština in Nikita's time was for union with
Serbia. Even then--although of the 76 deputies the king nominated 14,
while the other 62, of course, were people whom he pretty well approved
of--even then they had passed resolutions in favour of an economic
union, a common army and common representatives abroad. The Podgorica
Parliament had 168 members, of whom 42 were from the new areas. The
Constitution did not provide for such an assembly; but Nikita's friends
who clamoured for the Constitution evidently had forgotten that under
Articles 2 and 16 a king who deserts his country and people is declared
to have forfeited his legal rights. Those foolish partisans who cried
that it was monstrous not to wait until all the interned Montenegrins
had come back from Austria and Hungary, may be reminded of Nikita's Red
Cross parcels which these prisoners had refused to take. Moreover,
certain of them were elected, after their arrival, as vacancies
occurred, and they were also represented among the dozen deputies whom
the Skupština chose for the Belgrade Parliament. No disorders
happened during the elections, the best available men were chosen--76 of
them having enjoyed a university education. It is worthy of remark that
while 20 of the Podgorica deputies had sat in Nikita's former
parliaments, another 150 of these ex-deputies survive, and yet out of
the total number of past and present deputies (_i.e._ over 300), only 15
declared for a kind of autonomy, but were in favour of Yugoslav union.
The Metropolitan of Cetinje, the Bishops and five of the six pre-war
Premiers gave their unreserved support to the new régime. With them was
the Queen's brother, the Voivoda Stephen Vukotić, a grand-looking
personage who has remained all his life a poor man; he was questioned by
General Franchet d'Espérey as to whether he had also voted against his
brother-in-law. "If I had seven heads and on each of them a crown,"
answered the Voivoda, "I would give them all for the union of the
Southern Slavs." ... Where was the opposition to Yugoslavia? "The Black
Mountain," said Nikita at Neuilly--"the Black Mountain, as well as her
national King, has always pursued the same path, the only one leading to
the realization of our sacred ideal--that of National Unity." One might
object that a national King should really not have written to his
daughter Xenia on October 19, 1918, that he would propose a republic for
all the Serbs and Yugoslavs, with the abdication of the two kings and
the two dynasties. He added that the Serbs were not ripe for a republic,
but that in advanced circles his suggestion would be enthusiastically
received, and in a short time he would reap the benefit. "That," he
wrote, "is my impression--it may be that I am wrong--but I do not know
what else I can do." And a truly national King--but the world, as
Sophocles remarked, is full of wonders, and nothing is more wonderful
than man--a truly national King should not have supported those twenty
Montenegrins who in the summer of 1919 assembled at the monastery of
Dečani with the design of establishing a Bolševik republic. Before
the Yugoslav troops could reach the spot these men were surrounded by
Albanians and overpowered, so that another wild dream of the old
intriguer was dissipated.... When Mr. Leiper, the _Morning Post's_ acute
representative, was in Montenegro during the summer of 1920 he found
only one person in three weeks who pined for the return of Nikita.
"Presently," he says, "we were accosted by an ancient, wild-looking
'pope,' with a face rugged and stormy as the crags among which he lived,
and long, straggling hair tied in behind by an old leather boot-lace....
The talk turned to politics. My friend wailed over times and morals.
Food was scarce, the wicked flourished like green bay trees, honest
folks were oppressed, starved, neglected; for example, his own self that
sat before me--would I believe it?--after forty years' service he had
not so much as attained the dignity of Archimandrate.... They were a
rascal lot, those at present in power, ripe for hanging, every man-jack
of them. And oh for the days of good King Nicholas, who would have given
them short shrift!" Mr. Leiper subsequently learned that Nikita's
panegyrist had spent his life in the wilds of Macedonia, where he acted
as agent and decoy of the then Montenegrin Government. One murder, at
least, for which he received a good sum of money, could be laid to his
charge. Now he was living in retirement, hoping no doubt for better
days, and meanwhile winked at by the tolerant authorities.

After the assembling of the Podgorica Parliament a proclamation was
issued by the joyous Montenegrins at Cetinje. "Montenegrins!" it began,
"the great and bloody fight of the most terrible world war is over!
Despotism has been smothered, freedom has come, right has triumphed....
Montenegrin arms and the heroic deeds of our Homeland have distinguished
themselves for centuries. The fruits of these great deeds and colossal
sacrifices our people must realize in a great and happy Yugoslavia....
Let us reject all attempts which may be made to deprive us of our happy
future and put us in a position of blind and miserable isolation
henceforth to work and weep in sorrow.... Before us lie two paths. One
is strewn with the flowers of a blessed future, the other is covered
with dangerous and impenetrable brambles." If any disinterested and
intelligent foreigner, say a Chinaman, had been asked whether he thought
that it was more to the advantage of Montenegro that she, like Croatia,
Bosnia and the rest, should merge herself in the Yugoslav State or
whether he considered that the sort of federation which the ex-King had
suggested would assist more efficaciously the welfare--social,
economical and national--of the Montenegrin, he would not have thanked
you for asking so superfluous a question.... Nikita then asserted that
those terrible Serbian bayonets had caused the Podgorica Skupština to
vote as it did. Anyone who has spoken to one of those Bocchesi or
Dalmatian volunteers who were at that time in Montenegro will quite
believe that they applauded the result, but to pretend that they drove
the Skupština with bayonets to do what every reasoning creature would
have done is so farcical that one might have thought it would not even
form (as it did form) the subject for questions in the British House of
Commons.... The only part played by bayonets was when on November 7 (one
day previous to that fixed for the elections) a detachment of the
Italian army landed at Antivari and another marched to within about six
kilometres of Cetinje, where they were met by the Montenegrin National
Guard, were told that bigger forces, which it was difficult to restrain,
would shortly arrive and were given one hour in which to depart. Of this
they availed themselves, announcing that they were all Republicans. They
left behind them an elderly man who was sick and requested the
Montenegrins not to murder him. The Italians and Nikita's friends soon
afterwards spread a report of horrible murders in Montenegro. Certain
Allied officers went up to investigate the matter and found that the
charges were baseless. They were told by Mr. Glomažic, the prefect of
Cetinje, that the Allies, apart from the Italians, could go anywhere in
Montenegro, but that the Italians would be opposed by force of arms and
that if the Allies came up together with the Italians, then they too
would be attacked. Thereupon the Allied officers invited Mr. Glomažic
to lunch.


Nikita had no hopes that any good would come from such a Skupština.
In 1912 it had been different; with a budget of some 6,200,000 perpers
(or francs), including the Russian subsidies and the revenues from the
Italian tobacco monopoly, the royal civil-list comprised 11 per cent. of
the expenses, while the police accounted for 12 per cent., agriculture
and commerce 1½ per cent., public works 4 per cent. and education 5
per cent. The Skupština of that period had not caused him to pay more
attention to the people's requirements. The darkness in which they lived
was so profound that when Montenegro had to pay the interest on a
six-million-franc loan from Great Britain no one in Cetinje could
calculate how much was due; a telegram was therefore sent to London
asking for this information and the date when payment should be made. If
his people did not prevent him from allocating merely 11,000 francs to
the Ministry of Justice for the increase of salaries and so forth, while
the Ministry of the Interior received 700,000 francs for the work of
spying, the expense of killing people and various propaganda--both these
items being labelled "special expenses"--then Nikita had no fault to
find with his Skupština. Things were almost as satisfactory as before
1907, when for the first time a budget was issued and the people were
told how their contributions were spent. The personal property of the
sovereign had indeed been formally separated from that of the State in
1868; but Nikita's manipulations were so little supervised that, even
when he had established the Skupština, he could say with truth,
"L'état c'est moi." The Skupština of 1918 was going to make vast


In Bosnia, for some time after the Austrian collapse, it was
inconvenient to travel. If you went by rail you were fortunate if you
secured a good berth on the roof of a carriage; by road you went less
rapidly and therefore ran a greater risk of being waylaid by the
so-called "Green Depot," who were deserters from the Austrian
army--either through national or other reasons--with their headquarters
in the forests. Some of them were simply men who had gone home on leave
and stayed at home. Here and there a National Guard of peaceful
citizens, irrespective of nationality, was formed against them. But it
was some time before they were induced to lead a less romantic life.
What happened afterwards in Bosnia between the Serbs, the Croats and the
Moslems was so much a matter of routine that the Italians should not
have run off with the idea that this imperilled Yugoslavia. Of the
1,898,044 inhabitants in 1910 the proportions were as follows: Orthodox,
who call themselves Serbs, 43·49 per cent.; Moslem, 32·25 per cent.; and
Catholics, who call themselves Croats, 22·87 per cent. (The remainder
are miscellaneous persons, such as 850,000 Jews, who speak the usual
Balkan Spanish; they play an inconsiderable part in public life.) The
Serbs, the Moslems and the Croats are identical in race and language,
but have hitherto been much divided. Those who joined together in the
Turkish days were led to do so as companions in distress; the rule of
Austria, or to speak with greater accuracy the rule of Hungary--no one
knew exactly who possessed the land, but the Magyars took it for granted
that it was theirs--this rule, of course, did nothing to unite the
various religions. The Moslems, especially after their complete
isolation from Turkey, were the most favoured, while the Serbs, owing to
the proximity of Serbia, were the most oppressed. And during the War it
was the Serbian population which was chiefly tortured. Besides all those
who were dragged away to such places as Arad, hundreds and hundreds were
hanged in their own province. Not satisfied with using, as we see in so
many of those ghastly photographs, their own army as the executioners,
the Austro-Hungarians also organized local bands among the lower classes
of the towns, and in so doing they availed themselves of any latent
religious fanaticism among the Moslems. From the day of the Archduke's
assassination it was the Serbs who suffered most; and many onlookers
must have expected in the autumn of 1918 that they would take a very
drastic revenge. For some weeks the people were left very much to their
own devices, with no troops or police--the Austrian _gendarmerie_ having
to be protected by the better classes, who explained to the peasants
that it was not right to regard only the uniform of those who had so
often maltreated them; yet the gendarmes took the earliest opportunity
of getting into mufti. There was also for several months a dearth of
detectives. Many of those who had worked under Austria and were more or
less criminal, fled at the collapse; others continued to act, but in a
half-hearted way. Sixty new detectives were taken on by the Yugoslav
authorities, and fifty-six of them had to be dismissed. After all, if
one can judge a person's character from his face, the detective who
allowed you to do so would be so incompetent as not to warrant a trial.
And after six or seven months of Yugoslav administration only
thirty-three out of fifty-two detective appointments in Sarajevo had
been definitely filled. So there was not much restriction on the
peasants in their dealings with each other. A few of them were murdered.
In Sarajevo the National Guard was largely composed of well-meaning
street boys; the Serbian troops did not arrive until November 6, and in
many parts of Bosnia not until the end of the month. And yet in the
whole country, with people on the track of those who in the pay of
Austria had denounced or murdered their relatives, and with the poor
_kmet_ at last able to rise against the oppressive landlord, there were
in the first six months under fifty murders, and these were mostly due
to the desperate straits of the Montenegrins, who came across the
frontier in search of provisions, during which forays they assassinated
various people. In the Sandjak of Novi Bazar there was no doubt less
security; but to anyone who knew, say the Rogatica district, under
Austria's very capable administration, it will seem that Bosnia, after
the collapse, was singularly tranquil. Anyhow the population, in the
summer of 1919, were living on much more amicable terms with one another
than for many years. The Government met with some criticism, for it was
alleged to be reserving all the lucrative appointments for the Serbs;
one had to take into account, however, that it was the Serbs who had
been chiefly ruined by the War, and it was just that the concessions for
the sale of tobacco, for the railway restaurants and so forth, should
be, for the greater part, given to them. Nevertheless it may interest
travellers to know that the restaurateurs at the stations of Ilidže
and Zenica are Catholics--the Moslems are not yet very competent in such
affairs. They are, as their own leaders sadly confess, the least
cultured and the least progressive class. As elsewhere in Islam there
has been a total lack of female education--the mothers of the Sarajevo
Moslem _intelligentsia_ can neither read nor write, while their sons are
cultivated people who speak several languages. A change is being
made--there are already five Moslem lady teachers employed in the mixed
Government schools; this a few years ago would have been thought
impossible. It is to be deplored that these divisions into Moslem and
Orthodox and Catholic should be perpetrated--the Moslem leaders look
forward to the time, in a few years, when their deputies will no longer
group themselves apart on account of their religion; but it is unwise to
introduce too many simultaneous innovations, considering that the
illiterates of Bosnia number about 90 per cent. of the population. The
Yugoslav idea will prosper in this country; and, by the way, while you
meet an occasional Serb who hankers for a Greater Serbia, an occasional
Croat who would like a Greater Croatia, the Moslems have no aspirations
save for Yugoslavia. [They speak of "our language," since the word
"Serbian" has for them too much connection with the Orthodox religion,
the word "Croatian" with Roman Catholicism.] They are not indifferent to
the fact that to their own 600,000 in Bosnia they will add the 400,000
of Macedonia and Old Serbia, together with the 200,000 of Montenegro and
the Sandjak.... One was inclined to think that the least desirable
person of the new era in Sarajevo was the editor of the _Srpski Zora_
("Serbian Dawn"); his methods had a resemblance to those of Lenin, for
he printed lists of persons whom he called upon the Government to
prosecute, and when he was himself invited to appear in court and answer
to some libel charges he declined to go, upon the ground that the laws
were still Austrian and the judge a Magyar. He disapproved of such
tolerance, he disapproved of the Croats because they declined to
recognize that the Serbs had more merit than they, and as for
Yugoslavia--it was a thing of emptiness--he laughed at it and called it
Yugovina, the south wind. The only chance of life it had was if you
left the whole affair to the Serbs and then in two years it would be a
solid thing. It may be thought that the local Government, since they
left him at large, endorsed his theories; but they were reluctant to
give him a halo of martyrdom. They imagined that he was nervous because
he was losing ground--they acknowledged, though, that he still gave
pleasure to a great many Serbs, who were carried away by his appeals to
their old prejudices. It is undeniable that with the peculiar traditions
and customs of Bosnia, that province must for some years have a
Government--whatever method is evolved for the other parts of
Yugoslavia--whose eyes are not turned constantly to Belgrade. It might
even be well to set up a local Chamber in which all classes would be
represented. The Moslems and Croats would thus lose any lurking fear
that they were being swamped, and by coming into contact with other
political parties even the less cultured classes would gradually tend to
discard these fatal religious, in favour of political, divisions. A
somewhat primitive Balkan community cannot be expected of its own accord
to love henceforward in the name of politics those whom hitherto it has
hated in the name of religion. And as yet they are much more interested
in the harvest than in politics; from day to day they change their
views, according to the views of the last orator from Belgrade, Zagreb
or Ljubljana. Only the Socialists appear to be well disciplined. Of
course the present political parties in Yugoslavia are not wholly free
from religious prejudices, an important party, for example, among the
Slovenes being based on Roman Catholicism. But as the Slovenes are, as
yet, the best upholders of the Yugoslav idea, it is obvious that
education covers all things, and that with the increase of education in
Bosnia the religious differences will be less important. Anything that
can be done against this tyranny is beneficial, whether the St. George
be a political orator or a schoolmaster. And as the effects produced by
the former are more rapid, so should he be encouraged. He is, in fact,
appearing in Bosnia, he will carry away, more or less, the _clientèle_
of the _Srpski Zora_, and the shattered nervous organism of its editor,
Mr. Čokorilo, will be, one trusts, reconstituted and devoted, as it
can be, to a nobler purpose. One of its deplorable effects has been
that the organ of the Croat party, a paper called _Jugoslavija_, has
been compelled to write in a similar strain, whereas the editor, a
dapper little priest, assures one that he would prefer a more elevated


Those who wished that Yugoslavia would be an idle dream have had their
hopes more centred in Croatia. They told the world that horrible affairs
took place, that there has been a revolution, several revolutions, that
castles have been sacked and that the statesman, Radić, was
imprisoned. If you met this little pear-shaped man, who is a
middle-aged, extremely short-sighted person, with a small, straggling
beard, an engaging smile and a large forehead, you would say that surely
he had spent a good many hours of his life in some university garden
where the birds, knowing that he could not easily see them, were in the
habit of alighting for their dinner on his outstretched hands. He is a
very learned little man, who started his career by obtaining the first
place at the famous École des Sciences Politiques in Paris. But Stephen
Radić happens also to be very much interested in politics and
extremely impulsive, so that his wife and daughter have often had to
look after the bookshop, since the Government--that of Austria-Hungary
and afterwards that of Yugoslavia--had consigned him to prison. He
probably expected nothing else, for his eloquence--and he is an orator
in several languages--has frequently carried him along and swept him
round and round, like a leaf, not only in a direction opposite to that
which he previously travelled but flying sometimes in the face of the
most puissant and august authorities. So, for example, he began to
agitate in 1904 against the vast territorial possessions of the Church
in Croatia. This resulted in the then Archbishop issuing an interdict
against him and his meetings--a measure which, I believe, is still in
force. He was described as Antichrist, with the consequence that his
audiences, out of curiosity to see what such a personage might look
like, became larger than ever. For many years he was the only Croat
politician who gave himself the trouble to go amongst the peasants. "In
politics," said Radić to me--he said a great many other things in the
course of our first conversation, which lasted for four hours, though it
seemed a good deal shorter--"In politics," said he, "one should not, as
in art, try to be original. One should interpret not only the living
generation but the ancestors." The peasant, who feels what Radić
expresses, has repaid him well, for there is now no party in Yugoslavia
which is more devoted to its leader. He has taken the place once
occupied by the clergy--he is by no means hostile to the Roman Catholic
Church, but he is the foe of clericalism. "Praised be Jesus Christ! Long
live the Republic!" is the usual beginning of one of his orations, so
that his enemies accuse him in the first place of being a hypocrite, and
in the second of holding views which cannot possibly amalgamate with
those of monarchical Serbia. But the reference to Christ appears
perfectly natural to the Croat peasant--at an open-air meeting of 10,000
of them I saw their heads uncovered, and all bowed in prayer for a few
minutes on the stroke of noon. As for the Republic, this first came into
the picture on July 25, 1918, when the cry was raised at a meeting of
the Peasants' party. A large number of peasants had imbibed this idea in
America--those who emigrated have been in the habit of returning, and
even if their home is in the desolate parts of Zagorija or among the
rocks of Primorija, the coastal region. And thousands of Croats had
spent part of the War as prisoners in Russia--having deserted from the
Austro-Hungarian army--so that they had seen how the Great White Tsar,
previously regarded as an almost divine being, could be dethroned. Four
months after this famous meeting a Convention was held, in the American
fashion, with 2874 delegates, who represented some 100,000 people. They
pronounced themselves to be Republicans and Yugoslavs. It is quite true
that many of the farmers in Croatia have a pretty vague idea of the
Republic. "Long live Mr. Republic!" has been heard before now at one of
their meetings, while a landowner of my acquaintance was asked by two of
his aged tenants whether in the event of this Republic being established
they should choose as President King Peter or the Prince-Regent or King
Charles. But we should remember that in 1907 a printing press was
founded by the Peasants' party at Zagreb, and those who gave their money
for this cause were, to a great extent, illiterate. The people are
groping towards the light, and they are willing to be told by those they
trust that they have much to learn as to the nature of the light.
Republicanism was fanned into flame by Radić's imprisonment and other
causes, so that he says he is uncertain whether he can now persuade them
to modify their demands. But if he tells them that in his opinion a
constitutional monarchy will meet the case, they will probably still
consent to accept his view--and this has of late come to be his own
opinion. It may very well be that he adopted the republican idea with no
other purpose than to obtain for the peasants the social and economic
legislation which they would otherwise not have secured. And, after all,
there was something of a republican nature in Croatia's autonomy under
the Magyars. As for his imprisonment, it was strange that the Belgrade
Cabinet, who should have known their man, treated him as if he were a De
Valera; and perhaps the conduct of a subsequent Cabinet, that of Mr.
Protić, who came out for Croatian Home Rule, was also strange in
appearance, for while Radić was still in prison he was invited to
decide as to whether the Ban, Croatia's Governor, should or should not
remain in office. But Mr. Protić understood that at this period
Radić's republicanism was somewhat academic.

His party had, in years gone by, been small enough in the Landtag; but
the fact that his followers then numbered only two is anyhow of no
importance, as his very real power was derived from the peasants, who
were largely voteless. How often in his prison he must have yearned for
those old Landtag days--apart from his advocacy of the peasants, he
loves to speak. In two hours he would traverse the whole gamut of human
thought, expressing opinions to which John Hampden and Jack Cade and
Montaigne and Machiavelli would in turn assent. The words used to rush
from his lips in a torrent, while to many of his faithful peasant
followers he seemed, throughout his discourse, to be in direct contact
with the Almighty. Next to the Almighty the Croatian peasant had been
taught to revere Francis Joseph, so that when the heir to the throne
was murdered in 1914 it was not very difficult to make the Croat
peasants rise against this sacrilege by plundering the Serbian shops at
Zagreb--Austrian officers coming with their children to look on--just as
in other parts of Croatia and Bosnia. There is as yet within the Croat
peasant a certain hostility against the Serb and for various reasons:
one of them is that he was always taught by Austria to detest the
adherents of the Orthodox religion, another reason is that for centuries
they have had a different culture; and so, since Austria's collapse,
when it has been explained to them what is a republic and what is a
monarchy, they have often demanded the former for no better reason than
that the Serbs prefer the latter. They were taught by Austria to look
forward to a Greater Croatia, which would eliminate the Slovenes by
delivering them to the Germans, for that celebrated corridor to the
Adriatic. And it is from the Slovene Socialists that the peasants of
Croatia might very profitably learn.... The Slovene influence, coming
from a more highly organized province, would be beneficial both for
Serbs and Croats, for the industrial workers and for the peasants. The
nature of the Southern Slavs, say these Socialists, is democratic, and
the State mechanism might be made more so. Now that the various parts of
Yugoslavia have liberated or are liberating themselves from various
yokes, they have approached one another with a different mentality; they
will become much better known to one another. And it was hoped that when
Mr. Radić regained his freedom and his book-shop he would find that
his devotees preferred to hear him not as a Croat Jack Cade but as a
Yugoslav Hampden. In his absence the party was leaderless.

As for the other Croats, only Frank's Clerical party, which numbered
five or six deputies, and did not hide its persistent sympathies with
the House of Habsburg, kept up Separatist tendencies. All the Coalition
(now the Democrat) party and two-thirds of the so-called Party of
Croatian Right were for a close union with Serbia and the regency of
Prince Alexander. That is not to say that there was perfect unanimity
with regard to the interior arrangements of this union; in fact Dr. Ante
Pavelić, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Yugoslav National Council,
who was received in special audience by the Prince at Belgrade, is also
the leader of the old Starčević party and as such an opponent of
complete centralization. The _Obzor_, Zagreb's oldest newspaper,
maintains this point of view, not paying much attention to the form of
the State, monarchic or republican, so long as it is organized in a
manner which would prevent the Croats being subordinated. Zagreb, it
thinks, is destined to play the New York to Belgrade's Washington--but
nowadays it looks very much as if Zagreb's rôle were to be that of
Yugoslavia's Boston.

Among the Slovenes this anxiety for decentralization--which is very
proper or exaggerated, according to the point of view--is less
accentuated. It appears as if the Christian-Socialist party of Monsignor
Korošec[29] is rather centralist in its Belgrade words and
decentralist in its Ljubljana deeds. This party has shed some of its
extremist clerical members, who to the cry, "The Church is in danger!"
were very good servants of the Habsburgs. Such of them as were unable to
accept the new order of things--elderly priests, for the most
part--retired from the political stage.


There remains the Voivodina (Banat, Bačka, etc.) party, some of whom
are as much frightened of Croat predominance as the _Obzor_, for
instance, is of Serb. The argument of these Voivodina politicians is
that Serbia has lost so many of her _intelligentsia_ during the War that
she must have special protection; they also found it hard to swallow the
old functionaries whom the State took over from Austria. Of course it
does not follow that if a Slav has been a faithful servant of Austria he
will be an unsatisfactory servant of the new State. Obviously the
circumstances of each case must be considered; and, as a barrister, a
dissentient member of this party told me at Osiek, one must often put
personal feelings aside; he himself had been arbitrarily imprisoned
during the War by an official who was then an Austrian and is now a
Yugoslav functionary. The most extreme exponent of this anti-Croat party
seems to be a well-known editor at Novi Sad, Mr. Jaša Tomić. In
his opinion you cannot join by means of a law in twenty-four hours
people who have never been together; let it be a slower and a surer
process. He is ready to die, he says, but he is not ready to lose his
national name. Let the Serbs and Croats and Slovenes retain what is most
precious to each of them. Let them not be asked to give up everything.
In the matter of the flag Mr. Tomić is justified, for now their
former flag has been taken from each of them and a totally fresh one
created, which is particularly hard on the Serbs after the sublime
fashion in which their old colours were carried up the Macedonian
mountains in the Great War. It would not have required much
ingenuity--as they all three share the colours, red, white and blue,
differently arranged--to have devised, not a mere new and unmeaning
arrangement of the simple colours, but a method on the lines of the
Union Jack or of the former Swedish-Norwegian flag, wherein all three
would have remained visible. Mr. Tomić believes that a real
_intelligentsia_ would demand of the people what it can execute, and he
regrets to think that at least two-thirds of the _intelligentsia_ want
the people to call themselves Yugoslavs. But Mr. Tomić has a far
greater majority than two-thirds against him, because while his
arguments would be admirable if the Serbs and Croats and Slovenes had no
neighbours, they must be--and the vast majority of Yugoslavs feel that
they must be--superseded on account of this imperfect world. By all
means let each one of the three retain every single custom that will not
interfere with the national security and will not interfere too much
with the national welfare. If Mr. Tomić, who is much respected but
generally looked upon as rather old-fashioned, is going to die sooner
than give up something which the State considers essential he will be
following in the footsteps of those whom Cavour, in the course of the
welding of Italy, had to execute.

It may be said without fear of contradiction--in fact I was given the
figure by one of the decentralization leaders of Croatia--that at least
90 per cent. of the Croat _intelligentsia_ wants the union with Serbia,
and if a republic is decided upon they will mostly vote for King
Alexander as President. While they discuss their internal
organization--no simple matter when one considers their varied
antecedents, their different legal systems and so forth--they will not
let Yugoslavia go to pieces. The work of construction and of more or
less strenuous, but necessary, criticism occupies by far the greater
number of the politicians. They have not yet, all of them, given their
adherence to this or that group, while new groups are arising--such as
the Agrarian, which being far more interested in the peasant's material
welfare than in anything else will give their alliance to that political
party which is prepared to assist the villages towards improving their
cleanliness and their manure.


The chief parties which in the new State's first two years evolved
themselves out of those that previously existed in the various parts of
Yugoslavia were:

     (_a_) the Pašić party, consisting chiefly of the Serbian
     Old Radical party, together with Serbian parties from the
     Voivodina and Bosnia.

     (_b_) the Pribičević party, consisting chiefly of the
     Croatian Coalition party, together with the Slovene Liberal
     party and the Serbian parties in opposition to Pašić.

     (_c_) the Christian Socialist party, under Korošec,
     consisting chiefly of Slovenes, together with a young group in
     Croatia and other Clerical groups that are forming in Dalmatia
     and Bosnia.

     (_d_) the Starčević party, under Pavelić, consisting
     of decentralizing parties in Croatia and Slavonia, and some
     Croats in Bosnia.

     (_e_) Socialists:

         (1) the Slovene non-communistic Socialists.

         (2) Korac's party, chiefly from Slavonia and Serbia.
         This remarkable man, whose mind floats serenely in a body
         that is paralysed, has twice been included in the Cabinet.
         By many he is looked upon as too subversive, but he
         believes that a revolution will come unless his department
         acts in a revolutionary fashion. His programme includes
         old-age pensions from the age of sixty--the people being
         now enfeebled by the wars--and obligatory insurance with
         regard to all those, including State employees in the
         railway service and the post office, who do not enjoy an
         independent existence, half the insurance being paid by
         the employer and half by the employee, while with regard
         to accidents the whole would be paid by the employer. He
         has also very firm ideas for the safeguarding of the human
         dignity of the pensioners.

         (3) Dr. Radošević's party. This gentleman was said
         to adore Lenin, on whom he lectured. His party had no
         strength except such as it derived as a protest against
         any forced centralization.

     (_f_) Republican party, consisting of 90,000 Croat peasants
     under Radić.

Of these by far the most important were the first two. In Serbian
political parties the personal question used to be nearly always
uppermost, and now, in the case of parties (_a_) and (_b_), it was most
difficult to understand what aims the one had which the other did not
share. One may say that each of them was a group under a wily politician
who was able, not only to forge out of various elements a homogeneous
group, but to persuade them that there was a fundamental difference
between their group and any other. Here one has not so much the Western
system, under which a man enters a Cabinet as the exponent of party
principles, but the Eastern system under which a Minister uses his
influence to found a party, which is based inevitably on the
disappearing relics of the past. In the spring of 1919 many foreign
observers fancied that new parties were surging up like mushrooms and
proving, no doubt, that the people's vitality was strong, although one
would have waited willingly for this evidence until the country's
external and internal affairs were more settled. As a matter of fact
these rather numerous parties, of which the outside world now heard for
the first time, had been in existence or semi-existence for years. There
was, however, a certain bewildering vacillation on the part of some of
the deputies. The Bosnian Moslems, for instance, could not make up their
minds whether they would be Serbs or Croats and belong to (_a_) or
(_b_). Finally most of them settled down in (_b_), while two others
formed an independent group. It must be remembered that they, like all
the other deputies, were not really deputies but delegates, since it was
not yet possible to hold elections. There would naturally be many
changes after the first General Election; for one thing, the Moslems
intend to join in one group with their brethren from Macedonia and Novi
Bazar.... As we shall see, later on, the changes produced by the first
General Election--which was the election held in November 1920, for the
Constituent Assembly--were extremely sweeping. While the Radicals and
Democrats returned with close on one hundred members each, the
Korošeć party met with comparative disaster, and the Starčevic
group was overwhelmed. With about fifty members apiece, the Communist
and the Radić parties gave expression, roughly speaking, to the
discontent produced by the unsettled conditions--unavoidable and
avoidable--of the new State's first two years. The Moslems came back
with nearly thirty members, and a healthy phenomenon for a country in
which the peasant so largely predominates was the success, apart from
the Radić Peasant party, of the Agrarians with some thirty deputies,
and the Independent Peasant party with eight.

The Italian Press disposed in five lines of the historical Act of Union
which occurred when the delegates of the Yugoslav National Council were
received by the Prince at Belgrade on December 1, 1918. In the address,
which was read by Dr. Pavelić, it is recorded that "the National
Council desires to join with Serbia and Montenegro in forming a United
National State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which would embrace the
whole inseparable ethnographical territory of the South Slavs.... In
the period of transition, in our opinion, the conditions should be
created for the final organization of our United State." And there is a
dignified protest against the Treaty of London and the Italian
encroachments which even went beyond that which the treaty gave them. In
his reply the Prince, among other remarks, said that "in the name of His
Majesty King Peter I now declare the union of Serbia with the provinces
of the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in an indivisible kingdom. This great
moment should be a reward for the efforts of yourselves and your
brothers, whereby you have cast off the alien yoke. This celebration
should form a wreath for the officers and men who have fallen in the
cause of freedom.... I assure you and the National Council that I shall
always reign over my brothers and yours, and what constitutes the Serbs
and their people, in a spirit of brotherly love.... The first task of
the Government will be to arrange with your help and that of the whole
people that the frontiers should comprise the whole nation. In
conjunction with you I may well hope that our powerful friends and
Allies will be able justly to appreciate our standpoint, because it
corresponds with the principles which they themselves have proclaimed
and for the achievement of which streams of their precious blood have
been poured out...." The Prince spoke of Italy in phrases to which we
have already alluded.[30] He reminded her of the Risorgimento and of the
principles with which her great sons had then been inspired. But the
Italian Press preferred to moralize in column after column on the
variety of the political groups of Yugoslavia, with the object of
showing to the world that they were a people of no cohesive capacities
and of no real national consciousness.


This matter of the frontiers had been very lucidly set before the Allies
with regard to Dalmatia and Rieka; it now remained for the Slovenes to
formulate their case. From the statement given by Dr. Trumbić to the
Council of Ten in Paris we will take these extracts: "The province of
Gorica-Gradišca may be divided into two different parts, both from an
ethnical and economic point of view. The western part, up to the line
Cormons-Gradišca-Monfalcone, is economically self-supporting. If we
estimate the population on a language basis, there are about 72,000
Italians and 6000 Slovenes. Geographically it is simply the prolongation
of the Venetian plain. We do not claim this territory called Friuli,
which belongs ethnologically to the Italians. The rest of this province
to the east and the north of the Cormons-Gradišca-Monfalcone line,
which comprises the mountainous region, is inhabited by 148,500 Slovenes
and 17,000 Italians, of whom 14,000 are in the town of Gorica, where
they constitute half the population.... The Slovenes are an advanced and
civilized people, acutely conscious of their racial solidarity with the
other Yugoslav peoples. We therefore ask that this district should be
reunited to our State.... Istria is inhabited by Slavs and Italians.
According to the latest statistics, there were in it 223,318 Yugoslavs
and 147,417 Italians. The Slavs inhabit central and eastern Istria in a
compact mass. More Italians live on the western coast, particularly in
the towns. They inhabit only five villages north of Pola, and their
populations have no territorial unity. Istria is territorially linked
with Carniola and Croatia, whereas it is separated from Italy by the
Adriatic, and therefore it ought to belong to the Yugoslav State....
Triest and its neighbourhood is geographically an integral part of
purely Slav territories. The majority of this town--two-thirds,
according to statistics--is Italian and the rest Slav. These statistics
being on the language basis, include Germans, Greeks, Levantines, etc.,
as Italian-speaking, among the Italians. The Slav element plays an
important part in the commercial and economic life of Triest. If the
town were ethnically in contact with Italy we would recognize the right
of the majority. But all the hinterland of Triest is entirely Slav. Yet
the commercial and maritime value of Triest is what chiefly counts, and
it is a port of world trade. As such it is the representative of its
hinterland, which stretches as far as Bohemia, and chiefly of its
Slovene hinterland, which forms a third of the whole trade of Triest
and is inextricably linked with it. Should Triest become Italian it
would be politically separated from its trade hinterland, and would be
prejudiced in a commercial respect. Since Austria has crumbled as a
State, the natural solution of the problem of Triest is that it should
be joined to our State."


It would be futile to talk of Triest without considering the relations
between Italians and Germans. We have seen already how at the elections
they combined against the "common enemy." But in commerce the Germans
were in need of no alliance, for the Italians have relatively so little
capital to dispose of that they were unable to keep the Germans from
attaining that very dominant position in Italy. As the Italians have, as
a general rule, a lack of initiative and enterprise with respect to
modern industry, it was to German efforts that the great industrial and
commercial awakening of Italy and of Triest were largely due. In that
town the Italians were principally agents; and it is to be feared that
if it ultimately falls into their hands it will become a German town
under the Italian flag. It would be the object of the Italians to
emancipate Austria from the Yugoslavs, giving them an outlet to Triest
over Italian territory; and it would be to the Italian advantage if
Austria were joined to Germany. Therefore it is preferable for all the
Allies, except the Italians, that Triest should be international.
Conditions could then be offered to the Austrians that would cause them
to prefer these rather than to join themselves to Germany. But, in the
opinion also of many enlightened Italians, it is not in that country's
interest that she should hold Triest. Apart from the older publicists
and statesmen, including Sonnino, who might wish to modify their
opinions, one of the best-informed writers on Triest and Istria, A.
Vivante, a native of Triest, in his _L'irredentismo adriatico_ (1912) is
a most determined adversary to an Italian occupation of Istria or
Triest; his book has been withdrawn from circulation by the Italian
Government. Other resolute opponents have been all the inhabitants of
Triest, except the extreme Nationalists. The town's prosperity dated
from the time when the Habsburgs were driven out of Italy. Triest has
not forgotten what occurred when she and Venice were under the same
sceptre; and this it was which brought about, at Austria's collapse, the
autonomous administration in which practically all the elements of the
town participated. Only the Irridentists then thought that Triest's
liberation need involve union with Italy and economic separation from
the hinterland on which it depends.... When the occupation started, in
November 1918, the Chief of the Italian police summoned before him the
members of the Yugoslav National Council of Triest. Only two of them
answered the summons, whereupon a lieutenant read them the following
order from the Italian Governor: "In view of the fact that the Italians
troops have occupied the line of demarcation and that traffic over this
line is suspended for the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, it is
ordered that, for strategical reasons, the South Slav National Council
in Triest be dissolved and its offices closed." The Slovenes demanded a
copy of this order, which, however, was refused. They were not allowed
to depart until the books and national emblems had been removed from the
premises of the National Council, the doors sealed and a guard
stationed. "We others, Italians," an Italian writer had said in the
_Edinost_, the Slovene paper of Triest, on August 18, 1918, "should
understand that if we want our freedom we must see that this is likewise
given to our neighbours." And the _Mercure de France_ of October
remarked that these wise words would be listened to at Rome. In the
realm of navigation the Italians were not idle. They started at once to
negotiate with the Austrians for the sale to themselves of the Lloyd
Steamship Company, the Austro-Americana and the Navigazione Libera, the
three largest Austrian companies. By the end of February 1919, a Mr.
Ivan Švegel related in a well-informed article,[31] the Italians had,
by acquiring a large portion of their shares, obtained the decisive
influence in these companies. The deal which was carried through with
the assistance of the Austrian Government and which, according to the
_Neue Freie Presse_ of February 22, "fully satisfied the needs of
Austrian commerce," was transacted during the Armistice and behind the
back of public opinion. Surely the Austrian mercantile marine, to which
the Yugoslavs contributed the majority of the personnel and which they,
with the other nationalities of the late Empire, helped to build up with
the aid of considerable subsidies, should not have been permitted to
fall an easy prize into the lap of Italy, but ought rather to constitute
an asset in the liquidation of the late Austrian State and a subject of
public discussion.... In consequence of the Italian attitude towards
Austria on the one hand and the Slovenes on the other, the Austrians
made an attack from northern Carinthia near Christmas and despoiled the
Slovenes of about half the territory they had occupied. An American
mission asked both sides to cease from hostilities, saying that the
question of frontiers would be decided by Paris in a few weeks. Two
Americans, who unfortunately could speak neither German nor Slovene,
motored through the country, made some inquiries, especially in the
towns, and departed for Paris. It would have been as well if, like the
French farther to the east, they had deliminated between the two people
a neutral zone. Sooner or later the troubles were bound to recommence.


Meanwhile, of all the lands which the Yugoslavs were inheriting from
Austro-Hungary, that which was passing through the period of transition
with the least disturbance was the Banat. Those Magyars who stayed were
saying wistfully that it had been Hungarian for a thousand years, but
considering what they had done they could not have brought forward a
worse reason for their reinstatement. Here and there at places near the
frontier, such as Subotica, they waylaid and murdered lonely Serbian
soldiers; after which, with the complicity of Magyar officials whom the
Serbs had not removed, they managed to escape to Hungary. But as a rule
they thought it wiser to stay peacefully in the Banat than seek their
fortunes in a land so insecure as Hungary was then. While Count Michael
Karólyi's Government was doing its utmost to cultivate good relations
with France, England and America--printing in the newspapers cordial
articles in French and English, surrounding the Entente officers even in
their despite with the old, barbaric hypnotizing Magyar hospitality,
assuming in a long wireless message to President Wilson that the
Hungarians were among those happy people who at last had been liberated
from the yoke of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire--("I beg you, Mr.
President, to use your influence that no acts of inhumanity or abuses of
authority may threaten our new-born democracy and freedom from any
quarter. They would cruelly wound the soul of our people and hinder the
maturing of that pure pacifism and that mutual understanding between the
peoples without which there will never be peace and rest on earth.... We
will not discredit or delay with acts of violence the new-born freedom
of the peoples of Hungary or the triumph of your ideas....")--at a place
called Nagylak the free Hungarian people requested the authorities to
give them an official document permitting them to plunder for
twenty-four hours; at a place called Szentes there was a car which had
been stolen from a man at Arad, sixty miles away; hearing where it was
he telegraphed to the authorities and nothing happened; so he hired
another car and went himself to Szentes where the Magyar Commissary
confiscated this one also. It was better to remain in the Banat if one
had anything to lose. The treatment which the Magyars received was such
that Mr. Rapp, Commissary of the Buda-Pest Government, published a
proclamation on the generous conduct of the Serbian troops occupying
southern Hungary: "Our nationals," he declared, "though vanquished and
in a minority, are safe. The Serbian officers in command treat them in a
most humane and chivalrous fashion."[32] At Pančevo, for example,
the Magyar officials were placed, for their protection, on board a boat
by the Serbian authorities and kept there, provided with food and
cigars, for twelve hours, after which, as the danger was past, they were
set at liberty. In the same town, forty years earlier, the language used
in the law courts had been Serbian; no one, in fact, spoke Magyar,
except the cab-drivers--if you spoke it people said you must have been
in prison. Yet, although the Magyar judges had, to put it mildly, not
been too considerate towards the Serbs, they were retained in office on
the understanding that they would learn Serbian within a year; nor were
they asked, as yet, to administer the law in the name of King Peter, but
in the name of Justice. This magnanimity was not displayed because, as
with the railway employees, the Serbs were short of people for those
posts, since they had barristers well qualified to be employed, as they
were, for example, at Sombor, in the position of temporary judges. Even
the town advocate was not dismissed, although this healthy gentleman had
superseded a Serb forty-two years of age, considerably older than
himself, who had been compelled to join the army. Not alone were all
these functionaries left in office, but the papers sent to them were in
their own language, Magyar or German. And in return they generally were
loyal to the Yugoslavs.


An extraordinary state of things was to be seen at Temešvar, where
the Magyar mayor was one of the most worried men in Europe. Until
February 1919 he was being asked to serve not two but several masters.
Some uncertainty existed as to whether the town was under French or
Serbian military command, but that was not a very serious question.
There was at Novi Sad a temporary Government for all the Voivodina, this
was the "Narodna Uprava" (National Government), consisting of eleven
commissaries, each over a department, who had been appointed by the
Voivodina Assembly of 690 Serbs, 12 Slovaks, 2 Magyars and 6
Germans--one deputy for every thousand of the population. The mayor of
Temešvar could have reconciled the wishes of the Narodna Uprava and
the military authorities, but there was a Magyar Jewish Socialist, a
certain Dr. Roth, who had elected himself to be head of the "People's
Government," and was subsequently appointed by telephone from Buda-Pest
the representative of the Hungarian Government. Roth organized a civil
guard, mostly of former Hungarian soldiers, who--although he paid them
well (since Buda-Pest had given him 12 million crowns for propaganda
purposes), yet had a way of borrowing a coat or cap from Serbian
soldiers and, arrayed in these, holding up pedestrians after nightfall.
Roth had therefore been granted the right to rule, but--save for the
dubious guard--his power was only that which the Serbian or French
authorities would give him. He issued many orders to the mayor, some of
which were very questionable, as for instance when he sent provisions
out of the Banat to Hungary. This produced so great a scarcity that the
flour-mill employees thought it was the time to go on strike; they
demanded 80 per cent. increase in wages, without undertaking to go back
to work if they received it. "I am not a politician," said the harassed
mayor, "I only want to save the town from starving." But the Narodna
Uprava would send no food, since the town (that is to say Roth) would
not acknowledge its authority. There were many rumours as to how Roth
spent the sums from Buda-Pest, and a weekly Socialist sheet, which he
himself had founded, but had now made over to a couple of his friends
(likewise Magyar Jews), called Fürth and Isaac Gara, started to bring
charges against its founder. Roth, whose previous resources were not
large and were well known to Fürth and Gara, used now to frequent the
fashionable café and indulge, night after night, in potations of
champagne, inviting to his table not Fürth nor Gara, but the French
General. This officer, in the advance through Serbia, had captured a
great many prisoners and a very large number of guns, arousing
everybody's enthusiasm by his personal bravery, his dashing tactics and
the skill with which he executed them. He was a most original person,
who would sometimes about midnight in that café at Temešvar leap on
to one of the marble tables and there perform a _pas de seul_. Dr. Roth
succeeded in worming himself into this merry warrior's good graces, and
Fürth and Gara looked with jaundiced eyes on the carouses of these two.
And in their newspaper, the _Temešvar_, they said very biting things.
Thereupon Roth complained about them to the Serbian authorities, asking
that they should be sent to Belgrade. When the Serbs did nothing he made
application to the French, and they--not aware of all the
circumstances--sent the couple under guard to Belgrade, where they were
interned. The mayor continued to receive the orders of the various
parties, and then suddenly Roth organized a strike which lasted for two
days--the railways, the electric light, the water-supply and the shops
all joining in the movement. There was even a Magyar flag on the town
hall, and cries were raised by a procession for the Magyar Republic. But
this time he had gone too far. An order came from Belgrade, from General
Franchet d'Espérey, and Roth was taken in a car to Arad, where he was
deposited on the other side of the line of demarcation.


But the German-Austrians in Carinthia, seeing how the Slovenes were
being treated by the Italians, could not resist attacking on their own
account; and here the most tragic feature was that in the German ranks
were many Germanized Slovenes. This had been the case at Maribor in
Styria, where the population rose against the 70 Slovene soldiers during
the visit of an American mission. Many of those who were afterwards
questioned were obliged to admit that they were of Slovene or of partly
Slovene origin, but Austria had taken care of their national
conscience. Had they been freely left to choose between the two
nationalities, and had they, out of admiration for the German, selected
that one--you would not endeavour now to make them Slovenes; but of
course these people were never given the choice, and therefore every
effort should be used to make to dance that portion of their blood which
is Slovene, and sometimes all your efforts will be fruitless. That those
who fought in Carinthia against the Slovene troops were of this origin
can be seen by the names of the officers of the so-called
"Volkswehralarmkompagnien" (_i.e._ the People's Emergency Defence
Companies). A document, marked W. No. 101, and signed by a Captain
Sandner, fell into Slovene hands on February 21. It gives very full
arrangements for these companies in Wolfsberg and the neighbourhood. At
St. Paul, for instance, men are to gather from three other regions, to
wit 40 from St. Paul itself, 120 from Granitzthal, 60 from Lagerbuch and
30 from Eitweg; the officers of this St. Paul contingent are called
Kronegger, Andrec, Klötsch and Gritsch--the last three are of Slovene
origin. These Defence Companies consisted largely of ex-soldiers, under
the command, very often, of a schoolmaster or some such person; and if
they had done nothing more than to defend their own soil, one would have
less to say about them; but as a matter of fact they sent arms across to
their adherents in the territory occupied by the Slovenes. Thus at
Velikovec (Völkermarkt) and Donji Dravograd (Unter-Drauburg) shots were
fired from houses which had been armed in this way. Incursions were made
into Yugoslav territory, where the people were urged to rise; and as
these Defence Companies did not wear any uniform their members could, if
captured, protest their innocence. The officers were given 20 crowns a
day, the men six crowns, with 5.44 a day for their keep during the time
of emergency, and four crowns daily in addition if they went outside the
garrison town. As it would not be possible to get the commissariat at
once into working order the men were asked to bring at least sufficient
bread with them for a few days. Most of the men had their own guns;
those who had not would be lent one at the village office on the
understanding that it was brought back there when the emergency was
over. These Defence Companies were joined in the spring by 2000 of the
proletariat of Vienna who, at the railway station before they started,
were cheered by speeches on the subject of plunder; at Graz they were
joined by some students who proposed to maintain order.... It was in
April that the Germans began nearly every day to fire on the Yugoslav
troops, regardless of the Americans, who said that any infringement of
the Armistice would be severely punished. The Slovene bridgehead around
Velikovec was, towards the end of April, bombarded for several days with
heavy artillery, and the local commander, on his own initiative, crossed
the Armistice line in order to seize this artillery; he did, in fact,
carry off some twenty pieces, with which he returned to his old
positions. This caused the Germans to send through Zurich most indignant
telegrams to the Entente Press, denouncing the Yugoslavs for having
flagrantly crossed the Armistice line by 10 kilometres (cf. _Le
Journal_, for example, of May 5). In the same report they were held up
as villains for having crossed the river Drave at several points and cut
the railway line; as a matter of fact their infantry was at least 11
kilometres to the south of the Drave, and the artillery, of course,
still farther off. This railway line, which was the means of
communication between Austrians and Italians, was the subject of very
fierce talk on the part of the latter. All this time, be it remembered,
the Slovenes had feeble forces; and their own officers do not pretend
that they approach the Serbs as combatants. After centuries of
servitude--a more insidious servitude than if their masters had been
Moslem--they have now awakened to devote themselves, and with great
success, to agriculture and industry. Nevertheless the old fighting
spirit of the Slav has not been quite extinguished in them. Their
opponents on May 2 made a big attack upon Celovec (Klagenfurt) and
Beljak (Villach), where they had at their disposal the munitions of the
entire 10th Austrian army. Several battalions had come down from Vienna,
as well as 340 unemployed Austrian ex-officers, who were clothed as
infantry privates. These officers were serving for the love of their
country--up to May 1 at all events they were in receipt of no pay. The
Slovene ranks were somewhat depleted by Bolševik tracts, telling
them to go home, as there would be no more war; and yet at Gutenstein
sixty men with three machine guns, under Lieut. Maglaj, a Slovene from
Carinthia, kept 1500 men at bay from 9 a.m. till 3.30, after which they
slowly withdrew until the fighting ceased at six; a corporal and two men
of a machine-gun detachment were cut off and concealed themselves in the
shrubs of a defile. Suddenly they heard a German company come down the
road, singing as they marched. The three men opened fire--the Germans in
perplexity stood still and then retired in disorder. The whole
German-Austrian movement was checked by General Maister. And when the
Serbian veterans, men of all ages, with uniforms of every shade, marched
through the streets of Maribor, it was felt that there need be no more
anxiety as to that particular frontier of Yugoslavia.


It was not until now that Great Britain (on May 9) and France (on June
5) formally recognized the new Serbo-Croat-Slovene State.[33] As the
_Times_ said, two years afterwards,[34] "it was not the Allies who
created Czecho-Slovakia or brought about the establishment of
Yugo-Slavia. These events were the inevitable result of the previous
history which the Allies could not, even if they had desired to do so,
prevent." The Americans had not been so extremely considerate to Italy,
for they had recognized the Yugoslav State on February 7, a few days
after Norway and Switzerland.... And how necessary it was for the
Yugoslavs to have some leisure for their home affairs, which presented
so many complications. Here one system of laws and there another--with
the best will in the world and waiving to the uttermost one's own
idiosyncrasies, the Serbs and Croats and Slovenes were faced, at the
beginning of their union, by most arduous problems. The Agrarian
question was regarded generally as one of the most urgent. In Serbia
itself, with practically the whole country in the hands of small peasant
proprietors, this question did not arise; but in the provinces which had
been lately under Austria-Hungary no time was to be lost, and yet a good
deal of time would be needed to cope with a problem so full of
complications. One difficulty was that each political party was inclined
to solve this matter in accordance with its own interests. Among the
three Slovene parties, for example, the Socialists would naturally work
for their own principles, the Christian-Socialist party, whose
supporters were chiefly the small farmers, would prefer to legislate for
them, while the Liberal party, having in its ranks the larger
landowners, would wish that all, except the very largest, should if
possible be left intact; the very large landowners, moreover, will with
the spread of democratic ideas lose their influence over the voters.
There are several points on which all parties are agreed: thus, it is
most undesirable that a man's holdings should, as now, be separated from
each other, often by considerable distances, so that half his time may
be spent in going to and from his fields and a good deal of the other
half in the disputes which naturally spring from such a scattered
ownership.... In Bosnia, where the Agrarian troubles had produced such
frequent outbreaks and savage repression, the Austrians were given the
mandate in 1878 in the hope that they would regulate this matter. They
did not do very much; all that they really did was to modernize a
little. They wrote down in a book who was the landlord and who were the
kmets, and a copy of these details was available for each one of the
kmets. He had the right to remain where he was--unless his conduct was
exceptionally bad--and to retain two-thirds of the produce of the land.
This kmet-right was not hereditary in the female line; but the kmet
could buy his portion--this was an old right, which Austria
regulated--and become a free man, a beg. He would sometimes be a free
man in one place and a kmet in another. In Bosnia there are, of course,
some extremely large landowners; but most of the begs are poor folk, who
live on the third part of a few farms. It would be better if these men
were not compensated with cash, but rather that they should be
established on farms which they would work themselves, the distinction
between the small begs and the kmets thus disappearing.


A special Ministry was created to supervise, throughout Yugoslavia, the
question of Agrarian Reform; but the Cabinet was frequently engaged in
discussing this important topic and, many months afterwards, when the
ownership of a good deal of the land had been changed, it was
acknowledged that the problem had been attacked more often than it had
been solved. Mr. Pašić, who does not believe in hasty legislation,
pointed out that the Austrians had in forty years done really very
little in Bosnia. He was told, however, that in Croatia, for example,
the revolutionary spirit at the end of the War was so intense that if
the Government were to postpone the necessary reforms then the people
would simply seize whatever land they wished to have. It is true that
violence was rampant in those parts--the peasants believed that with
Austria's collapse there would arrive the Earthly Paradise, and in order
to bring this about they ravaged a good many fine estates and set fire
to various castles. They were going to stand no nonsense. At a place
called Lubišica in Croatia--where the 350 families lived in 260
houses--the landowner, out of the goodness of his heart, bestowed twenty
"joch" of meadowland on the village in 1864. A law was passed which
obliged him to devote a certain amount of land to the support of the
church and the school--he gave the identical twenty joch. And at the end
of the War the peasants maintained that at last this land was going to
be restored to them; they drove their cattle on to it, but the priest
with the help of _gendarmerie_ drove them off again. Once more the
cattle came back and then the priest seized a gun; he fired at his
parishioners and wounded in the head a sixteen-year-old boy, as well as
three other persons. This so enraged the village that they went in a
body and slew the priest.... And the authorities, although at that
period they were faced with so many problems, attempted to settle right
away this very complicated question. The Dobrovoljci--volunteers with
the Yugoslav forces who had come home from the United States, Canada and
Australia or who had managed to escape from the Austro-Hungarian
army--had been promised so many acres, each of them, after the War. And
these Dobrovoljci and the agitated peasants found that the land was, so
to speak, thrust upon them. A lawyer-politician would take a map, would
assign a certain area to A, another to B, and imagine he had done a good
morning's work; but unhappily the lawyer often forgot that a farm, to be
of any use to its tenant, must have a road leading to it, must have a
well, a cart, a horse, some oxen and so forth--to say nothing of a
dwelling-place. Thus it would happen that the new tenant would go to
look at his holding and in disgust would go away, or--contrary to
law--would sublet it or sell it back to the original owner. If, on the
other hand, he remained the State would, from an economical point of
view, only benefit in those regions where the land had hitherto been
more or less uncultivated; where it had been cultivated by the
moderately large or the very large landowner it always returned a
harvest more considerable than that which the new tenant, insufficiently
equipped and experienced, was able to achieve. Not only would there be
this diminished production--frequently in the proportion of six to
ten--but a large number of employees were thrown out of employment:
sometimes a clever Czech overseer, whose family of six children had
almost become Croat, and sometimes a native farmer whose house was
wanted for the Dobrovoljci. The Czech would return to his own country
and the dispossessed farmer would become a Communist. Yet these material
and human losses to the State might have been endured if there had been
a compensating political advantage, that is to say if the new tenants
had been satisfied. But in far too many instances they were not. And one
cannot help thinking that, in the vast majority of cases, they
themselves would have preferred to wait until the Peasants' Co-operative
Associations--such as flourish in Denmark--had been established. It need
scarcely be said that, from the point of view of the peasant and of the
State, these associations are an absolute necessity. The most deplorable
example of the measures that were taken in such haste is seen, of
course, in a model-property, such as that of Count Čekonić in the
north of the Banat, where the new tenants, seeking as elsewhere to
satisfy only their own wants and paying no heed to any possible exports,
allow a highly developed property to go in a retrograde direction. If
the Dobrovoljci had been skilled agriculturists there would have been no
harm in settling them on this excellent estate; and with a Co-operative
Association the 3000 joch of sugar that were grown there during the War
would not now be reduced to 88 joch. But as it is, what with the
unfortunate inexperience of most of the new tenants and their lack of
means, and what with the stupidity of the local authorities who left to
the previous owner one field here and one field there in the most absurd
fashion, it would have been better both for Count Čekonić and for
the State if he had simply presented to the Dobrovoljci half his land. A
great many mistakes have been made in this question of Agrarian Reform,
one of the most cardinal being--as Radić, the spokesman of the Croat
peasants, has pointed out--to bestow the land not on people because they
can farm it, but because they were heroes in the War.[35] It is a matter
for congratulation that the measures now in force are not definite--the
final dispositions will be taken in two or three years.[36] And perhaps
then some part of the counsel of Radić may be adopted--Radić,
whose critics are never weary of denouncing him for being a demagogue, a
firebrand and various other things, but who by that time may very likely
be a Cabinet Minister. He advises that there should be a compromise,
that the ownership of land in Yugoslavia should not be strictly
individualist nor strictly communist, but that while preserving the
spirit of the _zadruga_ (ownership by the community) there should also
be the mobility of individual ownership.

But in the field of Agrarian Reform there has been one excellent plan,
the transference of men from the unfertile districts of Montenegro and
Lika, also of landless men from the Banat and Bačka, as also Serbs
from Hungary and Slovenes from Istria, to those parts of Kossovo and
Macedonia which were lying ownerless. The Albanians in Kossovo are
mostly shepherds, and the land, which by Turkish law had belonged to
"God and the Sultan," was now at the disposal of the Yugoslav
authorities. Down to the spring of 1922 they had placed some 35,000
persons in these regions, the Montenegrins being generally allocated to
an Albanian neighbourhood, for they are accustomed to the idiosyncrasies
of the Shqyptart. At first the Albanians viewed the new settlers with
disfavour, but now so great a sympathy has developed between them that
on various occasions the Montenegrins have remonstrated with the
gendarmes for the excessive order they enforce and which, the
Montenegrins say, you really cannot ask of an Albanian. Against the
Montenegrins the Albanians do not care to use their rifles, since the
custom of blood-vengeance is in the Montenegrin blood. In fact, these
Albanians are very fair neighbours, the most unruly of them living in
the mountains of the frontier. And the Montenegrins have been showing
that when they are not compelled to live with weapons in their hand they
can be quite industrious. There has, till now, been more colonization of
Kossovo than of Macedonia; but there are wide tracts of country around
Skoplje which will be settled, once they have been freed from malaria.
The political consequences that this will have on Macedonia, by the
stabilization of economic conditions, the supersession of the wooden
plough by the steam plough--in fact, the advent of a new European spirit
need scarcely be enlarged upon. In Serbian Macedonia, or South Serbia as
it is now officially called, more than seven million acres of good soil
are as yet not being used.


As the months rolled on at Rieka the Italianists became more frantic.
Their telegrams to Rome, in which they begged for instant annexation,
were in vain, and after all, what was the use of adopting the system of
Lieut.-Colonel Stadler, their energetic podestà at Abbazia, who would go
into the hills, accost the peasants and instruct them that they must not
say: "It will be settled by the Paris Conference," but rather--"It has
been settled by the Paris Conference." All the world was learning what
was the position of affairs at Rieka; one of the most important of these
plaguy Allied officers had said that when he first came to the town he
thought it was Italian, but he had soon perceived that it was all a
comedy, and the Italianists were dreadfully afraid that memoranda and
statistics and what not had been dispatched to Paris and that there was
the faintest, awful possibility that one could say: "It has been
settled by the Paris Conference." Everyone, alas! was studying the
case--one heard that Cardinal Bourne, in the course of being fêted at
Zagreb, was reported to have shown himself quite intimate with Croatian
history and to have discussed especially the story of Rieka. But by far
the shrewdest blow to the Italianists was Wilson's Declaration. What had
his emissaries, who had listened with such care to everybody, told him?
One must have a grand procession through the town to show the whole
world what the people wanted! As for Wilson, it was good to hear the
lusty shouts of the "Giovani Fiumani": "Down with Wilson! down with
redskins!" Some of the demonstrators, after shouting that Wilson was a
donkey, a horse, a ruffian, would acclaim the new suggestion, that their
enemy was not Wilson at all but Rudolf of Austria, who was still alive.
Another very good idea would be to have great posters made with Wilson's
head crowned by a German helmet, and now, of course, the Hotel Wilson
must become the Hotel Orlando. Let them put a large black cross on all
the Croat houses of Rieka--well, on second thoughts, next morning, that
was not a very brilliant idea, because the crosses were too numerous; so
let the soldiers rub them out again. And where the Croat names on banks
and shops and elsewhere had been effaced, demolished--one could hide
them by long strips of paper which they were so busy printing: "Either
Italy or death!" "Viva Orlando!" "Viva Sonnino!"--those papers were the
best reply to people who were asking if the entire Italian Cabinet was
in harmony with Sonnino. Not merely in harmony--the Cabinet _was_
Sonnino and more particularly Orlando was Sonnino. An Italian major came
out on to a balcony one evening, in uniform, and opened his Italian
heart to the crowd. What would the Allies say to that? The _Dante
Alighieri_, the great dreadnought, manœuvring with her searchlights,
let them rest awhile upon the _Schley_, an American destroyer. What
would the Yankees do? "Avanti Savoia!" Perhaps in the old days they
would have sent a shot or two into the searchlights, just for luck, but
now they did nothing. And what a scene at the Opera when _André Chenier_
was performed and one of the singers came to the word "Traitor!" and
some one shouted "Wilson!" and the whole house shouted "Wilson!" and the
singer, forced to repeat the blessed word, added amid indescribable
enthusiasm the name of the President, that ignominious President
concerning whom it was revealed by one of their newspapers that he must
obviously have pocketed Yugoslav money, perhaps a million, and who most
probably had a Yugoslav mistress--when that opera-singer had emended the
phrase, did that very exalted Italian officer leave his box? Why, no--he
stayed until the end of the performance.... Did any Italian in Rieka
read to the end a small and lucid American book, _Italy and the
Yugoslavs, A Question of International Law_, by C. A. H. Bartlett of the
New York and United States Federal Bar? "It is an admitted fact," says
Mr. Bartlett, "that Italy at the outbreak of hostilities had no rights
to, or in, the territory to which she now makes claim. Her title,
therefore, has arisen since the commencement of the War, and must be
founded on either effective possession legally acquired or on
documentary evidence or some other right recognized by international
law." And quoting Professor Westlake (_International Law_, Part I. p.
91) as to the four grounds on which a State may vindicate its
sovereignty over new domain, he discusses the position in the Adriatic,
and concludes that Italy can claim no title by occupancy, cession,
succession or self-determination. We refer elsewhere to Mr. Bartlett's
commentary on the London Treaty, which is the instrument invoked by the
Italians for their claims to Dalmatia. With regard to Rieka, which, as
everybody knows, was not included even in the London Treaty, Mr.
Bartlett says that while "admitting, for the purpose of argument, that
the seizure has since resulted in an effective possession, yet, as that
is not sufficient in itself to give title, it has no legal or effective
force, but can be compared with nomads squatting on the roadside and
then claiming a right to the soil. Italy was ashamed to assume the
responsibility for the original appropriation of Rieka, which was made
in violation of every legal right of those to whom it belongs, and she
might well be, for a more audacious, unjustifiable proceeding in
violation of every principle of international law it is difficult to
imagine." ... As for the Italian National Council, listen to the
stirring sentences of Mr. Grossich, its old President, after they had
unanimously voted on May 17, and with passionate conviction, an order of
the day directed to Orlando. In that order it was stated that they
looked upon the plebiscite of October 30, 1918, as an indestructible,
historical and legal fact. Grossich exposed the situation and was then
for some instants mute. His voice was trembling when he spoke: "The
sacrifice which circumstances may demand is tremendous, but if it is
required by the supreme interests of Italy we will know how to support
it. More than a citizen of Fiume, I feel myself an Italian" ("Primo che
fiumano mi sento italiano"). At this point the old patriot broke into
tears. "Fiume will defend herself with arms against all those who desire
to violate her will, her national conscience. Seeing that her tenacious,
indestructible Italianity is a grave impediment for Italy in the
attaining of other objects, let Fiume be left to look after herself,
sure as she is of her sons, prepared as she is, to-day more than ever,
to sacrifice herself. She will defend herself against all and from
wherever they come." Those who listened thought that this must mean that
either the _Pester Lloyd_ of April 29 was lying when it printed an
official message stating that General Segré, the Italian representative
at Vienna, had in the name of his Government requested the Hungarian
Soviet Republic to undertake the care of Italian subjects in Rieka, or
else that the Magyars had told him that the 22,000 or 23,000 Italian
soldiers in Rieka ought to be sufficient, as this was practically one
soldier for every person who had been described as an Italian. But the
I.N.C. had now resolved to take no risks; they entered into negotiations
with Sem Benelli, a well-known poet of the school which some critics
call enlivening and other critics call inflammatory. Anyhow, on the
afternoon of June 13, Mr. Benelli was made a citizen of Rieka, a member
of the central committee and was entrusted with the portfolio of
Minister of War, that is to say Commissary for Defence. He thanked the
I.N.C. in a long speech, and declared that his appointment was the
wedding of Rieka and Italy. Then Dr. Vio proposed a law, respecting the
defence to the uttermost of Italian rights--that an army should be
created and that the expenses should be met by the issue of bonds for a
hundred million lire. The citizen Benelli was asked to undertake the
organization and the command of the army.


Farther down the coast and on the islands the Italians seemed, with few
exceptions, to have relinquished every effort to make themselves popular
with the Slavs. Of course one naturally hears more of the cases of
tension than of those where friendliness prevails; but in the towns or
villages where the Slav _intelligentsia_ appreciated that an officer was
doing his best, they were obliged invariably to add that he was doing it
in spite of his men, and that his control of these men was more or less
defective. Numbers of the soldiers, marines and carabinieri may have
been animated, when they landed in Dalmatia, with excellent intentions,
but their months amid an alien population had produced in them too often
a deplorable effect. It must be taken into account that many of them had
an almost insurmountable desire to be demobilized. At Gradišca, where
many Slovenes were interned, with fences round them but with no roof
other than the sky, their guards with other soldiers had risen in
revolt. This outbreak was suppressed, certain soldiers--some say sixty,
but the number is doubtful--being shot; and all the others took an oath
that on the first occasion of a deserter being shot at, they would, down
to the last man, leave the barracks. This movement had been growing
since the withdrawal of Bissolati from the Cabinet. As for the young
officers, they had been exhorted, in a communication from Admiral Millo,
the Governor, that they must realize the position they were in. The
Admiral's memorial, which was marked with wisdom but also with a
too-sweeping air of superiority, was labelled "Secret Document: No. 558
of Register P. Section of Propaganda. Sebenico, March 21, 1919." A copy
was found by the Yugoslavs under an officer's mattress, was transcribed
and replaced. Since it made admissions with regard to the Croats the
contents were telegraphed to Paris. It is a lengthy and to us at times a
rather rhetorical exposé, of which it will suffice to make some
extracts. "The Officer," says Admiral Millo, "should place himself in a
calm and dignified fashion outside and above the disputes which divide
the sentiments of the local population. And in accounting,
psychologically and historically, for the detestations and the
aspirations of either party, he must regard the situation with the
serene mind of a judge.... The position of officers is extremely
delicate, more particularly in the small centres. It is known that
outside the towns the population in its great majority and often its
totality consists of Yugo-Slavs or Slavs of the South, that is to say,
Croats or Serbo-Croats. It is a people of another race, of that
formidable Slav race which for centuries has been pressing against the
West, athirst for liberty and eager for the sea; a people with a
psychology, a mentality, a civilization, habits, traditions, a national
consciousness and a quite special individuality. This population is
fundamentally good, good as simple and primitive people are. But the
simple and primitive peoples are also extremely sensitive and suspicious
and violent in their impulses.... May Heaven preserve the officers from
not taking these things into account and from letting themselves be
guided solely by their Italian feelings.... Firm nerves, sangfroid and
an evenly-balanced mind are required in order to prevent the hostility
of the population from causing, as a reaction, resentment and a spirit
of revolt, of vengeance and of oppression on our part. The officer must
... become an element of moderation and pacification, with the object of
assuaging and obviating the bitter feelings which have been created and
fed by a past that is and must be wiped out for ever; and of dissipating
that hostility which, determined by a political situation and events,
has been and is being incited and strengthened by blind passions and an
artificially created campaign of interested parties (_da artificiose
interessate campagna_).... It must be remembered that this is the first
contact (_il primo contatto_) which the population, as yet primitive and
uncultured in its mass, has had with Italy, where it instinctively sees
the enemy and the new oppressor. We must do our best to make them see
in Italy their friend and liberator.... It is evident and it leaps to
the eyes of all how delicate and important is the moment of this first
contact. Nothing more than a superficial knowledge of the circumstances
is needed for the officer to understand that in all his official and
personal acts he must behave in such a manner that the population, which
is primitive and simple and therefore all the more susceptible to
suggestions, should regain the impression that Italy is a great country,
the country of liberty and right, that its people is educated and
civilized, that its officers and soldiers are here to fulfil a work of
civilization and education, of love, in a country which must be Italian
on account of historic rights and for the exigencies of Italy's defence:
in which the Slavs, who have been introduced by the course of events and
as an effect of the expansive potentiality of their race and the
artifices of those who dominated the country, will find in the
independence and development of their nationality a great fatherland
which is civilized, powerful, humane and free.... In estimating the
enmity of the Croats the fact must be taken into account that the
Croatian world, I mean to say the Croat people, with its action in the
interior of Austria while the Italian army was acting outside,
resolutely and victoriously, has co-operated in precipitating the
downfall of Austria and in freeing itself from a detested régime;
particularly in the last year of the War this sentiment of nationality
became accentuated with the fervent aspiration for liberty.... These are
the circumstances which have determined a special psychology composed of
joy and ecstasy--both elements which, in minds that are laden with all
the influences of the East, produce a facile and dangerous excitement.
On the other hand there survives in the Italian population the hatred
against the Croatian supremacy, a hatred which is comprehensible but
which in time must give place to other sentiments, rendering possible a
fair coexistence of the two populations, whose aim should be common--the
prosperity and development of Dalmatia, in the prosperity and for the
prosperity, in the greatness and for the greatness of Italy. From this
picture it must be instantly clear to every officer that his duty here
is ... a truly lofty mission of civilization.... Especially the officer
who is in charge of administrative work must awaken impressions that
are naturally caused by the sense of justice for all; his severity must
be good and his goodness must be severe, and from every act there must
transpire the dignity which comes from the might and right of Italy, the
kindness and generosity which come from the virtue of the race.... There
is already an impression on the part of the Croats that the Italians are
good, that Italy is strong. There must also be born and reinforced the
other conviction that we are not oppressors but liberators.... The best
propaganda, the most efficacious, because spontaneous and unexpected, is
done by the officer and his men. The Italian officer ... with the
harmony of manners which distinguishes him, obtains very easily the
sympathies of this population, a sympathy, however, which for an
optimist may become dangerous. Young officers must not forget that the
propagators of the great Yugoslavia still exercise with their
megalomania a potent influence over the primitive population and that a
gesture of theirs, a word, an attitude, may even yet indirectly favour
the Croat cause and make difficulties for us in exhibiting our mission
of civilization."


It is strange that this order should have been so scurvily treated in
the town of Šibenik, where it was issued and where the Admiral
resided until the beginning of June, after which he transferred the seat
of government to Zadar. At Šibenik, by the way, the population
comprises 13,000 Yugoslavs and 400 Italianists. On February 20, 1919,
there arrived from Zadar, in consequence of an invitation from Admiral
Millo, the Italian professor Domiakušić who, according to the
sixth clause of the Armistice, was justified in assuming the functions
of school-controller, but was not authorized to become the inspector or
in any way to interfere in didactic matters. Two inspectors existed in
Dalmatia, one for the elementary and one for the secondary school, but
the chief school authority of the province and the two inspectors under
him were not informed of Professor Domiakušić's nomination. If the
Governor intended him to abide by the stipulations of the Armistice, he
must have been astonished at the schools being shut on the day after
his arrival. And they remained shut, both the modern school and the
middle-class girls' school for months, because the Professor's quite
illegal attempt to usurp the inspectorship was resented. The secondary
school was closed and the teachers who had come to Šibenik with their
families, but whose permanent domicile was elsewhere, received an order,
delivered by carabinieri, that they would have to leave the town in four
days. A few Italians were brought from Split and the school was
reopened, but the attendance, which had been about 200, was now 24, and
of these only two were the sons of Yugoslavs--but Yugoslavs who had
taken office under the Italians, one as President of the Court of
Justice and the other as prison inspector; these gentlemen took their
boys by the hand and led them to school. Perhaps the Admiral was unaware
of these transactions; but various Yugoslav officials, whose salaries
had been withheld because they would not sign a paper asking to be made
Italian officials, continued, notwithstanding, at their posts for two
months; after which the Government perceived that by the clauses of the
Armistice they were compelled to pay them. Each of them received exactly
what was due, while some Italian teachers who had signed the paper were
given a war bonus, extending over five months, of 80 per cent. Whether
the Admiral knew of this or not, it does not harmonize with his exalted
sentiments. And the town-commandant spoke very darkly[37] on various
occasions to the leading citizens of what would come to pass if the
Italians by any chance were told to leave the place. His brave fellows,
the arditi, so he said, had plenty of machine guns and of ammunition.
But this fair-haired German-looking officer was a rampageous sort of
person who discharged, according to his lights, the Admiral's "truly
lofty mission of civilization." It was not he, but another of the
Admiral's subordinates at Šibenik, who, when approached by a certain
Mr. Ivaša Zorić with the request that something might be done to
release his son, a prisoner of war in Italy, replied: "Your son shall be
released in eight days, provided that you declare, in writing, that you
are content with the Italian occupation." On Mr. Zorić saying that he
was unable to do this, "Very well," said the officer, "then your son
will be one of the last to be set free."


Altogether one might say that the schoolmasters were being treated in a
manner that was at variance with the Admiral's document. To give a few
examples: Ivan Grbić, the schoolmaster at Sutomišcica, was
arbitrarily imprisoned and was afterwards removed to another school at
Privlaka. The Government school at the former place was closed, an
Italian private institution being opened in the same building, with a
teacher who was devoid of professional qualifications. The pupils of the
school which had been dissolved were compelled by soldiers to attend the
new Italian school. The elementary schools at Zemunik were likewise
closed and the schoolmasters, after a period of imprisonment, taken to
another village. If in the rather dreary little Zemunik, where there is
not one Italian, the schoolmaster was very dangerous to the might of
Italy, let us compare with this the conduct of the Slovene authorities
who permitted more than one priest of the old régime to remain in
office--one of them at a village four or five miles from
Ljubljana--though they knew that these clergy were wont from the pulpit
to utter disloyal sentiments. Maybe the Slovene Government was unwise,
but they had scruples in removing a priest; and moreover, they had not
given up the hope that these gentlemen would by and by change their
opinions. On the island of Pag the schoolmaster Buratović and his
wife, who was also a teacher, had to fly in order to escape
imprisonment. The schoolmaster Grimani of the same place was obliged,
with his wife, to follow the example of Buratović, so that the school
was necessarily closed; and an Italian school was started in this island
with its 0·31 per cent. of Italians. The same edifying scenes must have
taken place as in so many Magyar schools where the pupils--Serbs,
Slovaks, Roumanians and so forth--did not understand what the teacher
was saying. The Government of the occupied part of Dalmatia appointed to
the elementary schools at Rogoznica and Primošten two young Italian
law-students from Zadar, who had no pedagogic qualifications; and
whereas the legal annual salary was 1080 crowns, these lucky young men
were in receipt of 625 crowns a month, which covered more than
handsomely any depreciation in the currency. But now to another subject:

                        Per cent. Yugoslavs.     Per cent. Italians.
 1. Zadar                     with 80·25           with 18·61
 2. Hvar (Lesina)              "   92·94            "    6·75
 3. Korčula (Curzola)          "   94·89            "    5·08
 4. Šibenik (Sebenico)         "   95·66            "    1·31
 5. Starigrad (Cittavecchia)   "   97·98            "    1·91
 6. Vis (Lissa)                "   98·98            "    0·92
 7. Skradin (Scardona)         "   99·36            "    0·57
 8. Knin                       "   99·48            "    0·31
 9. Drniš (Dernish)            "   99·49            "    0·41
10. Benkovac                   "   99·60            "    0·30
11. Tijesno (Stretto)          "   99·61            "    0·35
12. Biograd (Zaravecchia)      "   99·66            "    0·23
13. Pag (Pago)                 "   99·67            "    0·31
14. Obrovac (Obrovazzo)        "   99·84            "    0·12
15. Kistanje                   "   99·88            "    0·12
16. Blato (Blatta)             "   99·93            "    0·05

The London Treaty had conferred on Italy the foregoing Judiciary
Districts, whose population, according to the last Austrian census, was
as given on page 147.

Italy was also to receive portions of the following Justiciary

                        Per cent. Yugoslavs.     Per cent. Italians.
1. Trogir (Traù)              with 99·12           with 0·32
2. Sinj                        "   99·29            "   0·24
3. Imotski                     "   99·84            "   0·11
4. Vrlika                      "   99·95            "   0·04

In the early part of 1919 a plebiscite was organized by a delegation
which the representatives of the occupied communes elected at Split on
January 11. According to the census of 1900 the occupied territory
contained 35 communes, divided into 398 localities, with 297,181
inhabitants. In 35 localities, with 14,659 inhabitants, the census was
prevented by the Italians, who also confiscated the results of the
plebiscite in the commune of Obrovac.[38] The delegates were therefore
successful in canvassing 95·07 per cent. of all the inhabitants. In 34
communes the majority for union with Yugoslavia was over 90 per cent.,
while in 24 it exceeded even 99 per cent. At Zadar (the town) out of
14,056 inhabitants 6623 (= 47 per cent.) voted for Yugoslavia, while in
the suburbs, with a larger population, the majority was 89·57 per cent.
In the islands the majorities ranged from 96 per cent. to 100 per cent.
And if any doubts were entertained as to these figures, the delegates
were authorized to propose another plebiscite under the control of a
disinterested Allied Power.


Dalmatia, as is shown by the number of emigrants, is not a wealthy
province; and one would have supposed that if the Italians thought it
necessary to occupy a country whose inhabitants were so unmistakably
opposed to them, it would have been--to put it at the lowest--politic to
hamper no one in the getting of his livelihood. Austria had established
fourteen military fishing centres (besides others in Rieka, Istria,
etc.), and these the Croats joined most willingly, as a means of
avoiding service in a hated army. After the war, when their nets were
worn out, Italy supplied her Chioggia fisherfolk with new ones. Owing to
the conditions of the Triple Alliance, the Italians enjoyed the right to
"high-sea" fishing, that is to say, the fishing up to three miles from
the Dalmatian coast; but now the Italian boats occupied all the rich
fishing grounds among the northern islands. These dispossessed natives
were originally more preoccupied with fish than with Italians. Is it
strange that they refused to see that Italy was, in the words of Admiral
Millo, the friend and liberator?... A German firm, the Steinbeiss
Company, had built in Bosnia a very narrow-gauge line for the
exploitation of its forests; during the War this line was continued to
Prijedor, and with great difficulty it had served for the transport of
food-stuff and passengers from Croatia: on the Croatian lines up to
Sissak normal gauge; from there to Prijedor narrow gauge; from there to
Knin very narrow gauge, and from there to Split or Šibenik narrow
gauge. Thus with the loading and unloading between 30 per cent. and 50
per cent. of the goods were lost; but when Italy sat down at Rieka the
inhabitants of Dalmatia looked to this line. At Prijedor hundreds of
waggons of wheat and corn were waiting to be forwarded, and with Italy
blocking the road at Knin they simply perished.


The Italian administration of Dalmatia--economically, politically,
scholastically, ecclesiastically and financially (as we will show)--was
thoroughly mistaken. Wherever one goes one is overwhelmed with evidence;
it is impossible to print more than a tithe of it. But the mention of
Knin recalls the case of Dr. Bogić, who was deported to Sardinia for
political reasons. On January 1 he was arrested, together with a
Franciscan monk, a schoolmaster and others, transported to Šibenik
and put into a cell devoid of bed, light or a window. Thence, with
nothing to eat, although the weather was wintry, he was taken on to the
S.S. _Almissa_, bound for Ancona. Near Šibenik the boat collided with
the isle of Zlarin; he and the other prisoners attempted to get out of
their cabin, but carabinieri kept them there by flourishing revolvers in
their faces. At Ancona, Spoleto, Perugia, Florence and Leghorn the
doctor was always lodged in prisons, had his finger-prints taken, had to
stand up to salute the warders, had to look on while his things were
stolen--at Ancona, for instance, they despoiled him of eighty cigars.
His wrists were always bound; he was attached not only to his
fellow-travellers but to Italians who were under life-sentences. The
carabinieri cut up their bread, put it on their knees and then, without
unbinding the ropes, left them to eat it as best they could. The journey
was very slow; thus from Perugia to Florence--being all the time
attached to one another--it took sixteen hours. Dr. Conti, the prison
doctor at Florence, said that Dr. Bogić was ill, but as he declined
to give him a certificate the journey was resumed. From Florence to
Leghorn he was bound so tightly that his wrists were very much swollen.
From Leghorn in the S.S. _Derna_ he was shipped to Sardinia, where he
had experience of several prisons, including that of Terranuova-Pausania,
where water flows down the walls and vermin are everywhere. He received
2.75 lire a day with which to buy his food, and although he is a doctor
they refused to let him read any medical books. When I asked him of what
he had been guilty, he began by recounting his war work. Over 6000
Italian prisoners were at Knin, and he was there as military doctor for
more than two years. These Italians were employed on the railway line
and--as is clear from the letters they wrote to him after their
release--letters some of which I read--they had very friendly
recollections of the doctor. Once in the summer of 1918 a group of
Italians arrived who had been, in the doctor's words, "bestially
maltreated at Zala-Egerseg by the Magyars." Dozens died on the way to
Knin, others while they were being got out of the station, others on
the way to the hospital. They were nothing but skeletons, dressed almost
exclusively in paper clothes. General Wucherer happened to be at Knin
and to him the doctor reported that the Italians had been treated in an
absolutely criminal fashion. Wucherer, who was a decent fellow, ordered
the doctor to dictate the whole affair and said that if nothing else
could be done he would go direct to His Majesty. Then standing up he
struck the table, in the presence of his staff, of Dr. Grgin of Split
and of the railway commandant Captain Bergmann, and "Wir sind doch die
grössten Schuften!" he exclaimed ("After all, it is we who are the
biggest scoundrels!").... When the Yugoslavs overthrew the Austrian
Government at Knin, the doctor, a kindly-looking, little, bald man, made
a speech to the prisoners from the balcony of the town hall. He armed
two of the Italians and ten French prisoners, whom he told off to guard
the magazine. The two Italians (Cirillo Tomba and Mario Favelli)
vanished after a couple of days; the French remained for a week, and
when a French destroyer arrived at Split they were taken there, not as
prisoners but as soldiers, bearing arms. Dr. Bogić was a member of
the National Committee at Knin, and as such he wrote to a colleague at
Drniš to ask him whether the Italian troops were coming up from
Šibenik. This letter was his undoing. The reason he wrote it was
because the population at Knin was extremely agitated by the prospective
occupation and begged him to ascertain the latest news. He should have
remembered, no doubt, that the Italians regarded this as enemy country
and that to make inquiries with regard to the movement of troops was a
crime. An officer came and asked him, in the General's name, if he would
kindly take part in a conference; on reaching the place which was
indicated he found himself surrounded by carabinieri. Their captain, a
certain Albano, said that he and two or three others must go to
Šibenik to undergo a short interrogatory, and that as he would return
in two days at the latest it was unnecessary for him to take any money,
clothes or linen. As a matter of fact the doctor had, on the previous
day, been warned from Split that the Italians meant to intern him; but
he laughed--he had done so much for them and he felt so innocent that
it seemed absurd to run away. He could have gone, because he had a
written permit issued to him on January 10 by the 144th Italian infantry
regiment at Knin, which stated that he and his wife might go, whenever
they wished, to Split.


During the winter and spring over seven hundred persons, chiefly
belonging to the clerical, the legal and the medical professions, had
been deported from Dalmatia. The leader of the Italian party at Zadar
told me that two of them had written him from Nocera Umbra, saying that
this, their place of interment, was a health resort and that they were
getting fat. He scouted the idea that they were under any sort of
compulsion when they wrote or that they were pulling his leg. One must
anyhow congratulate them in not being taken to Sardinia, as were the
vast majority. Those who managed to return from that island--among them
Dr. Macchiedo of Zadar, through the intervention of Bissolati, on
account of Mrs. Macchiedo being at death's door--said that they found in
Sardinia what they had expected of a penal establishment. Many priests
were deported, on account of crimes which varied in enormity. A very
frequent cause was that they refused to preach in Italian to a
congregation which only understood Serbo-Croat. One must say that the
Italians exhibited no religious partiality, for they treated the Roman
Catholic Church just the same as the Orthodox. Some of the persecutions
were so fatuous that one could only suppose they must be due to a
misunderstanding. To mention only one which came under my observation at
Skradin, not far from Šibenik, where the Orthodox priest in his
sumptuous vestments had led his congregation out of the old town in
order to perform an annual ceremony in connection with the fertility of
the fields. In what way was the Italian cause assisted when carabinieri
broke up that procession and refused even to allow the people to walk
back on the road, so that all of them, including the priest and the
other church officials with the sacred emblems, were forced to go back
to Skradin as best they could by wading through the marshes?


An allusion has been made to the Italian financial methods. More than
one Italian officer, including Admiral Millo, spoke to me about the
Austrian currency, which seemed to them one of the gravest problems. In
Yugoslavia these notes were only legal tender if they had the Government
stamp, and the Italians resolved that in the territories which they
occupied the notes must have no stamp upon them. So far, so good. But
when some poor peasant came across the line of demarcation from Croatia
or else landed somewhere in a boat the Italians were not making good
propaganda for themselves when they seized the notes, tore them up and
refused to give their victim a receipt. One poor fellow whom I know of
came with his mother along that wonderful road which the Austrians built
over the mountains and down to Obrovac. He had some serious affection of
the eyes and was compelled to go to Zadar to consult an oculist. He took
with him practically all his fortune, as he and his mother did not know
what otherwise to do with it. They had never yet made use of a bank.
Well, the Italians tore up the notes and told him testily to go about
his business. The same thing happened to the following persons:

 1. March 22, 1919. Bogdan Babović, son of Radovan,
                     of Montenegro,                   was robbed of 1,348
 2.   "   22,   "   Peter Lukšić, son of Stephen of
                     Spić,                             "      "     1,800
 3.   "   30,   "   Marijan Ševelj, of Tučepa,         "      "     3,530
 4.   "   31,   "   Frano Frankić and Ivanica
                      Petričević,                      "      "    12,000
 5. April  8,   "   Stephen Vukušić, son of Peter,
                      of Katuna,                       "      "     4,758
 6.   "    8,   "   Nikola Cikeš, son of Mate, of
                      Žeževice,                        "      "     3,071
 7.   "    8,   "   Martinis Jozo, son of the late
                      Nikola, of Komiža,               "      "     6,332
 8.   "    8,   "   Jure Rubić, son of the late Peter,
                      of Zadvarje                      "      "     6,030
 9.   "    8,   "   Mato Škaričić, son of Stephen,
                      of Podgrazza,                    "      "       500
10. April  8, 1919. Mihovil Šarac, son of the late Crowns.
                      Marko, of Split,                was robbed of   300
11.   "   11,   "   Ilika Kutljača, son of the late
                      Peter, of Čista,                 "      "       600
12.   "   13,   "   Marko Čaljkušić, son of the
                      late Ante, of Šestanova,         "      "    11,000
13.   "   14,   "   Damjan Udovičić, son of Jakov,
                      of Imotski,                      "      "     3,200
14.   "   16,   "   Antun Radić, son of Peter, of
                      Trogir,                          "      "    62,000
15.   "   16,   "   Madalena Kugmić, widow of
                      Nikola, of Split,                "      "     1,000
16.   "   17,   "   Pero Jurić, son of Abram, of
                      Ostrozac,                        "      "     2,285
17.   "   19,   "   Jakov Jurković, son of Miško       "      "}
18.   "   19,   "   Mate Rajić, son of Ilija,          "      "}    8,140
19.   "   19,   "   Jerko Rejić, son of Luke,          "      "}
20.   "   19,   "   Josip Kolumbur, son of Marko,
                      of Livno,                        "      "    25,000
21.   "   25,   "   Zorka Aljinović, of Split,         "      "       600
22.   "   28,   "   Ana Žižak, of Split,               "      "     1,900
23.   "   29,   "   Nikolina Rastor, of Split,         "      "     1,800
24.   "   30,   "   Antica Milić, of Split,            "      "     5,000
25.   "   24,   "   Tomislav Novak, son of Mate,
                      of Hvar,                         "      "     3,000
26.   "   24,   "   Gjuran Arif, of Livno,             "      "     2,200
                                                             Total 136,794

These were the complaints over a period of a month, which were received
by the Provincial (Yugoslav) Government at Split. One has to take their
word for it that the list is not fictitious. I did not investigate any
of the cases; the Italian officers to whom I showed the list said that
they were persuaded I would find that in every case the person culpable
was an officious, ignorant N.C.O. The list is, of course, no more than a
fragment. At Starigrad, on the island of Hvar, I was told that from the
people, who were searched both on landing and on leaving, 40,000 crowns
had been confiscated, and at first they had been told that the money
should be stamped. A merchant whom I happened to meet during the few
hours I was at Metković told me that he had gone to the island of
Korčula to his brother and, on landing, had been relieved of 34,000


In Asia Minor we have another disastrous example of the Allied policy of
allowing a disputed zone to be occupied _ad interim_ solely by the
troops of one interested country. The chronic state of war which
followed the landing of the Greeks at Smyrna, the atrocities, the
charges and the counter-charges, were investigated by an Inter-Allied
Commission of Inquiry; and their report, which was issued early in 1920
and was signed by an American Admiral and French, Italian and British
Generals, laid the responsibility at the door of the Greek Higher
Command. The Commission considered that an inter-Allied occupation was
necessary, because the Greeks, instead of maintaining order, had given
their position all the characteristics of a permanent occupation, the
Turkish authorities being powerless. They also considered that order
should be maintained by inter-Allied troops other than Greek.... No such
Commission visited Dalmatia, chiefly because the Yugoslavs, in spite of
endless provocations, displayed greater self-control than the Turks. But
an Inter-Allied Inquiry would have reported that the Italian régime had
not the marks of a permanent occupation simply because such methods
could never be permanent: everywhere in the occupied territory it was
forbidden, under severe penalties, to have any Serbo-Croat newspaper. On
one island I found about fifteen gentlemen gathered round a table in a
sort of dungeon, reading the newspapers which had been smuggled into
their possession. This they had been doing for more than six months.
Every letter was censored, all telegraphic and telephonic communication
between the occupied territory and the outside world was prohibited. All
flags, of course, except that of Italy, were vetoed. Admiral Millo told
us that this prohibition did not extend to the flags of France, Great
Britain and the United States; considering that it is on record when and
where the flags of these nations were, if flown by civilians, ordered to
be taken down at Rieka, despite the presence of Allied contingents, it
seems scarcely worth saying that, as we were often told, the Admiral's
permission, which was in accordance with the Armistice, was disregarded
by his subordinates. Another thing that was very rigorously forbidden,
especially on the islands, was for any Yugoslav to go down to the
harbour, if a boat came in, and carry on a conversation with somebody on
board. It would be tedious to enter into all the questionable and
tyrannical Italian methods, such as the requisitioning of Yugoslav
clubs, schools, etc., sometimes leaving them empty because they found
they did not want them, the requisitioning of private houses, with no
consideration for their owners, the wholesale cutting-down of forests,
the closing of law-courts, the demand that other courts should pronounce
no judgment before first submitting it to them. But, above all, what the
Yugoslav Government at Split complained of were the methods they
employed in the gratuitous or semi-gratuitous distribution of food,
clothing and money:



SUBJECT: _Question of Food Supplies for the Civil Population._

No. 43. _March_ 18, 1919.

To all subject authorities:

I have heard that several commanding officers who have to distribute
food to the civilian population have, by virtue of an authorization that
they may save part of the entered amounts for the purpose of using that
sum for propaganda, saved a conspicuous quantity without having the
possibility of using it later. As it has been ascertained that the only
effective means of propaganda is the distribution of food supplies ...
amounts which are useless [for other purposes] and absolutely necessary
for purposes of propaganda.




STAFF. SECTION OF PROPAGANDA, No. Prot. "P." SEBENICO, _April_ 18, 1919.

The section of propaganda of the Government of Dalmatia, whose object is
the rapid diffusion of Italianity in this noble region which gives at
last to Italy the complete dominion over the most bitter Adriatic, has
set before itself a vast programme of truly Italian action ... it is
therefore necessary to give these latter certain advantages ... it has
been suggested that Italian schools be favoured ... that offices be
opened for the gratuitous or semi-gratuitous distribution of food, that
presents be given to the indigent population, that fêtes and spectacles
be organized.

[Signature illegible.]

These two documents give some indication of the plan of campaign. One
might mention, by the bye, that during this period there was a great
shortage of food-stuffs in Italy; large quantities were being sent from
the United States. The Yugoslav Government at Split complained of the
disastrous social and moral results of these proceedings. It gave rise
to many abuses and to a clandestine trade. On the young it had, for
example, at Split a most unhealthy influence; all they had to do was to
go on board the _Puglia_, the Italian flagship, whether their parents
allowed them or not, and there they were given both provisions and cash.
As elsewhere in the world there are at Split a number of idlers and
scamps, who seized this opportunity; another class of person, who had
erstwhile been regarded as Austrian spies, did not hesitate a moment to
proclaim that they were the most ardent Italian patriots. All these
people were ready enough to give their signatures to anything in return
for the Italian bounty, and to endeavour to persuade others to do so; in
that way the Italians collected 6000 signatures, whereas the Italianists
of Split were, at the outside, 1800; at Trogir, where the Italianists
numbered 80 to 100, they collected more than 1000 signatures.


To grasp the conditions at Split we must go back to the years just
before the War. From the reports of the Austrian Intelligence Officer,
Captain Bukvich, we shall see what was the attitude of the Slavs and the
Italianists respectively towards the Government, and hence towards each
other. It may be that the very loyal, some would call it cringing,
attitude of the Italianists was forced upon them by the great
inferiority of their numbers. What they were aiming at, with very few
exceptions, were the benefits of the moment, rather than those others of
which here and there an isolated Italianist would dream, when between
the smoke of his cigarette he saw the Italian tricolour flying over
Dalmatia. If this lonely dreamer had gone to Italy before the War with
the purpose of awakening in people an interest in what some day might
happen, he would have found that most of the Italians had never heard of
Dalmatia. But among those who had heard were the officials of the "Liga
Nazionale," which assisted the Dalmatian Italians to support those
famous schools. In a report (Information No. 668) which Padouch, the
successor of Bukvich as Intelligence Officer, sent from Split on
September 25, 1915, to the Headquarters at Mostar, we are told that "an
Italian of this place, with whom I confidentially spoke on the subject
before the outbreak of the War, openly and candidly told me that in
their Liga school one-third of the children, at the most, have parents
whose nationality has always been Italian. The others are children of
the people, of that class which on account of its humble social position
has lost its national consciousness. He told me that the parents
received subsidies and the children clothes, school-books, etc.,

The reports of Captain Bukvich were sent to his superiors at Mostar. No
doubt a great many documents were destroyed just before the Austrian
collapse, as the Government had ordered to be done--three boxes,
presumably containing copies, are known to have been committed to the
flames at Split, while at Zadar there was a wholesale destruction on
October 31. Yet a fair number of interesting papers survived,
principally at Mostar, Castelnuovo, Metković and Dubrovnik. In 1913
Captain Bukvich sent many reports to the effect that Split was
completely anti-Austrian and that the Italian party were the only loyal
people. On September 16 he said that the inhabitants believe in the
coming of a great Serbia, and he substantiates this with numerous
instances. "The students over thirteen years of age," he says, "are all
Serbophil, and most of the masters, professors and State clerks.... The
chief paper in Split is Serbophil and has been confiscated twenty-seven
times between October 1912 and September 1913." He reported on August
19, 1913 (Information No. 211), to the General Staff of the Imperial and
Royal 16th Corps at Dubrovnik with reference to the Francis Joseph
celebrations of the previous day: "... only the public buildings and a
few other houses were beflagged. One must notice the satisfactory
conduct and the finely decorated houses of the autonomous Italian
party." On February 27, 1914 (Information No. 62), he narrates that a
big dinner was given at the bishop's palace to celebrate the centenary
of the incorporation of Dalmatia into the Habsburg monarchy; all the
chief citizens were invited to this dinner, but the Croat deputies, Dr.
Trumbić, Dr. Smodlaka and other Croats declined with thanks. Dr.
Salvi, however, of the autonomous Italian party, put in an appearance.
On July 31 (Information No. 267) he refers to the mobilized men who
marched through the town and were put on board ship. "The attitude," he
says, "of the Slav _intelligentsia_ was quite passive. The Italian band
waited for the troops, a procession was improvised, great ovations took
place, and enthusiasm was shown by the Autonomous party, who called:
'Hoch Austria! Hoch the Emperor! Hoch the War! Down with Serbia! Down
with the Serbian municipality!'" A certain Demeter, an Austrian naval
lieutenant, was a spectator of these scenes. He made some notes for the
typist, afterwards embodied in a report to the Military Command at
Mostar and marked "Secret No. 147." He relates, with unconcealed fury,
how the Slavs not merely displayed no raptures when the War proclamation
was read, but walked away in the midst of the recital and refrained from
following the band, which later on paraded the town. Only the Italians,
he said, exhibited the proper feeling. They did more than that; for with
the same date, July 31, one finds an interesting letter from the
"Società del Tiro al Bersaglio" of Split, which called itself a shooting
club, but was not in possession of arms; it was, as a matter of fact, a
gymnastic society with a political object. The secretary, Luigi Puisina,
wrote on the 31st to the authorities, to say that they had determined to
offer themselves in uniform for any service of a military nature ("per
quei qualsiasi servizi di carattere militare"). Bukvich reported on
August 3 (Information No. 268) that for the present these gymnasts will
be used as special constables, and he adds, to one's astonishment, that
this has caused the Slav _intelligentsia_ to be still more profoundly
depressed. Nothing could elude the eagle eye of Bukvich: on December 17,
1914, he noted that the small boys in the streets were winking and
smiling at each other in consequence of the news that the Austrians had
been driven out of Belgrade.

When Italy entered the War a handful of Dalmatian Italians--I believe
six from Zadar and two from Split--went to serve in the Italian army.
Five others, four of them from Zadar, were interned at Graz; with these
exceptions the Italians and Italianists were very much more faithful to
the Austrian Empire than were the Croats, hundreds of whom were hanged
or shot or lodged in fortresses. The Italians, however, persist in
charging the Croats with unbounded fidelity; in fact, it is one of their
most powerful arguments. They themselves in Split continued to do what
the Austrians expected of them: those who were of military age became
units of the army, while the rest of them, with one exception, were not
incommoded. The President of their club, the "Cabinetto di Lettura,"
that Dr. Salvi of whom we have heard, was not only most assiduous in
addressing letters of devotion and fidelity to the Emperor, in promoting
all kinds of patriotic Austrian manifestations, but as the particular
friend of Mr. Tszilvas, the Austrian sub-prefect, he was wont to go down
with him to the harbour and watch the embarkation, in chains, of the
Slav _intelligentsia_. The only Italian who suffered this fate was a Mr.
Tocigl, with whom Dr. Salvi had had a personal difference.


One cannot therefore be surprised if the Slavs, on the collapse of
Austria, regarded the Italian party, and especially Dr. Salvi, with
some suspicion. Since they had always placed themselves at Austria's
disposal, it would be most natural if they attempted by a _coup d'état_
to save the Empire. Yet this was the moment when they joined the Slavs
and helped to turn the Austrians out. There was no notion then that the
Italian army would succeed the Austrian; and it was not until Christmas
that this army tried to enter Split. When they proposed to come ashore
they were prevented by the French, Americans and British; thereupon they
threatened to come overland--although the town was not included in the
London Treaty--but again they were prevented. In February, on the
occasion of a conference between the four Admirals, there was a
demonstration against Italy, the commandant of the _Puglia_ being struck
and Admiral Rombo's chief of staff insulted. There was a widespread
feeling of resentment at the way in which the _Puglia_ was, as we have
seen, availing herself of the baser elements in the town for the
furtherance of her propaganda; but what put the match to the bonfire was
the omission of certain Italians in uniform to salute the Serbian
National Anthem. The Admirals held an inquiry, found that "officers
belonging to an Allied nation have been molested." They announced that
they would not tolerate a repetition of such acts, and that inter-Allied
patrols, acting with Serbian troops and the local police force, would
take measures to prevent them. On March 8, however, there was a renewal
of the troubles; and again the Admirals made an inquiry. The Italian
member of the Commission added to his signature that he disapproved of
the findings and that he would present a special report.


"By general conviction," says the Admirals' summing up, "there exist at
Split two political parties which are in sharp contradiction as to the
future status of Dalmatia. The presence of Allied ships, and especially
the Italian ones, has increased this contradiction rather than
diminished it. On the day when disorders broke out at Split a few
Italian sailors had made a small demonstration a little before the
incidents. Certain movements and words on the part of youths,
sympathizers with Yugoslavia, offended the Italian sailors. They were
bold enough to arrest two of these youths.... This procedure of
arresting them naturally and inevitably moved the great majority of the
bystanders and was the actual cause of outrages. This act was approved
by the Italian Naval Authorities, who accordingly are to be considered
responsible for these disorders.... Several civilians and Serbian
soldiers were wounded." The report adds that some Italian sailors were
armed with knives and revolvers, contrary to the regulations of the
Italian Naval Authorities, and concludes with these words: "By arresting
some citizens the Italian sailors have committed an illegal act, which
they carried out according to instructions that were given them by the
Italian Naval Authorities. Accordingly the Commission considers these
authorities responsible for the injuries inflicted on the Serbian


But in many parts of Dalmatia and the islands the Italians had no fear
of such a Commission. Let us see what they had been doing in the
neighbourhood of Zadar, the old capital. Apart from the usual
prohibitions with respect to newspapers and so forth, the municipalities
were dissolved and an Italian commissary installed. Their first task was
to introduce the Italian language and make it obligatory, although the
commissary's own employees would often be not more acquainted with it
than with Hindustani. Eighty-five per cent. of the civil servants in the
occupied territory were Yugoslavs; during March and April 1919 they were
deprived of their salaries because they had declined, in accordance with
the existing laws and particularly in accordance with the terms of the
Armistice, to make a request in Italian to the Provisional Government
that they should be confirmed in their posts. This outrageous order,
which left hundreds of families without the means of subsistence, was
not merely illegal--let alone inhumane--but was in contradiction with an
earlier order issued by Admiral Millo, which was placarded throughout
the territory and which confirmed in their posts all the civil
employees. However, the Italians were unsuccessful in their efforts to
obtain these signatures, though they did not abandon their watchword:
"Either Italy or starvation!" They never ceased to persecute the
peasants of the surrounding country and islands. Commands, menaces,
blows inflicted by carabinieri and officers, houses searched night after
night, and so on.... In the second half of February it was intended to
conduct a number of peasants, accompanied by Italian flags, to Zadar, so
that they might thank the Admiral, who chanced to be there, for the
benefits which Italy had bestowed upon them. An officer who in this
branch achieved particular distinction was Lieutenant de Sanctis, the
Commandant of Preko, a village opposite Zadar. Bread and Italian
promises were dangled before these poverty-stricken fisherfolk and
peasants; they refused to take part in the ridiculous demonstration, and
in order to avoid being made to go they concealed themselves and even
went to the length of sinking their boats. In the possession of a
peasant at Preko, Šime Šarić Mazić, were found some
banknotes with a Yugoslav stamp on them and a very small French flag;
for these transgressions de Sanctis ordered first that he should receive
a box on the ears, after which he was bound, thrown into prison, and
there flogged by carabinieri who, as two doctors afterwards certified,
inflicted serious injuries upon his hands, which they beat with chains.
For the same reasons and at the same place a peasant called Mate
Lončar was imprisoned and wounded with a bayonet. On March 2 at Preko
the Italians, enraged because the people had not come to their
demonstration, dispersed with sticks all those who were assembled in
front of the church, and prevented the Mass from being celebrated. On
March 29 the aforementioned Lončar was condemned to three years'
imprisonment because 11,780 crowns, unstamped notes, had been found on
him; the notes, of course, were confiscated. Such notes, by the way,
were given or received in payment by Italian merchants at a discount of
10 per cent., 15 per cent. or 20 per cent. Even the military used these
forbidden notes, and compelled the peasants at the market to accept
them. In the night of March 15-16 six of the leading Yugoslavs of
Zadar, who had not ceased to advise the people to bear their present
misfortunes in patience, were suddenly arrested and deported to Italy;
they included Mr. Joseph de Tončić, President of the Yugoslav Club
and formerly the Deputy-Governor of Dalmatia; he was a man seventy-two
years of age and in precarious health. During this same night forty
persons were deported from Knin, three from Drniš, three from
Obrovac, four from Skradin, nine from Šibenik and four from
Benkovac.... On the populous island of Olib (Ulbo) the abuses connected
with the distribution of food were exceptionally flagrant; here the
Italian officers compelled everyone to stand still, bare-headed, when
they passed; they would not allow anyone to leave the island, and
forbade the peasants to speak Croatian! On the opposite island of Silba
(Selve) the schoolmaster, Matulina, and the priest, an old man of
seventy-five, called Lovrović, were imprisoned. The latter had told
his parishioners, in the course of a sermon, to behave well during Lent
and keep away from the Italian sailors. He was thereupon shipped to
Zadar and thrust into a moist and dirty dungeon, where for two days and
nights he was at the mercy of six criminals.... After having seen at
Zadar a number of persons belonging to each party, I had the pleasure of
meeting Dr. Boxich. It was indeed a pleasure, because this thin,
highly-strung Italianized Slav, the former chief of the Radical Italian
party, was full of the most fraternal sentiments towards the Slavs. If,
he said, their peasants lacked education, one ought to assist them; not
to do so was a sin against humanity. It had been the desire, he said, of
his party, both before and during the War, to work openly against the
Austrian Government, unlike the Moderate Italian party, of Ziliotto,
which feigned to be very pro-Austrian. While Ziliotto was receiving high
Austrian decorations, he was an object of persecution, and was obliged
to go away and live for two and a half years in Rome. Ziliotto, he said,
was Zadar's evil spirit, seeing that he had thoroughly deceived and
betrayed Italy--so many of those who now called themselves good Italians
had been very good Austrians, and would as readily have turned into good
Americans or Frenchmen. So petty and local was Ziliotto's party, with
no idea of the world or of freedom. In fact, I thought that if a
Yugoslav had listened to the doctor's eloquence he would have overlooked
a recent lapse or two, when Boxich, in order to prove to Admiral Millo
that he was a much better Italian than Ziliotto, was alleged by the
Yugoslavs to have committed various dark deeds in connection with a hunt
for hidden arms. The Admiral also had told me that he was not pleased
with Dr. Boxich. "At present," said the doctor to me, "I am isolated,
and I am proud of it. This is not the time to found a party of ideas;
the atmosphere is too morbid, too passionate. This is the time," he
said, "for an honourable man to remain isolated and to stay at home."
... Several weeks after this at Sarajevo, I read in a Zagreb newspaper, the
_Rijeć S.H.S._, that Dr. Boxich, on account of having--exceptionally,
the paper said--spoken the truth to a passing foreigner, had been
deported to Italy.


It was impossible to be at Split without meeting people who had fled
from the occupied islands. It was also, in consequence of what they told
one, impossible to set out with an unprejudiced mind. But, after all, we
have our preconceived ideas on Heaven and Hell, and that will be no
reason for us not to go there. I had become acquainted at Split with
Captain Pommerol, of the British Army, a Mauritian of imposing physique
and, as I was to see, of a lofty sense of justice. He had recently been
spending several months in Hungary on a mission from the War Office.
They had now dispatched him to Dalmatia and Bosnia with a very
comprehensive programme; and, as I secured a little steamer, he came
with me to the islands. [We hesitated to embark on this expedition,
since the islanders whose national desires had been choked for so many
months would probably display their sentiments in such a way as to bring
down grave penalties upon themselves. But the Yugoslavs, both on the
mainland and on the islands, were anxious that we should go; they
doubted whether Western Europe had any knowledge of the Italian methods
of administration. And if the immediate result of our journey would be
to call down upon themselves--as indeed it did--a savage wind, they were
optimistic enough to feel that it would eventually produce a whirlwind
for their oppressors.] ... The S.S. _Porer_, 130 tons, was flying at the
stern the temporary flag of white, blue, white in horizontal stripes
which had been invented for the ships of the former Austro-Hungarian
mercantile marine; on the second mast they displayed the flag of one of
the Allies, and the _Porer_ happened to be sailing under the red ensign.
She had a Dalmatian crew of eight, including the weather-beaten old
captain and the still older and equally benevolent gentleman who
combined the functions of cook and steward. In addition to Serbo-Croat,
they had among them some knowledge of Italian, German and even English.
The scholar was the mate who, having had his headquarters at Pola during
the War, spoke Viennese-German. His wife had died at Split after an
illness of several months, brought on by the idea that her husband had
been killed at Pola in an air-raid.

The large, rather waterless island of Brać, which is nearest to the
mainland, seems to be chiefly remarkable on account of its
chrysanthemums, from which an insect-powder is produced; and the number
of changes, no less than twenty, that occurred in the ownership of the
island from the beginning of the Middle Ages down to the Congress of
Vienna. During that period it was sometimes under the Byzantines,
sometimes the Venetians, the Holy Roman Empire, its own autonomous
Government, the Hungarians, the Bosnians, the French, the Russians (one
year, in 1806) and the Austrians. It was not occupied by Italy after the
end of this War, and Baron Sonnino did not ask for it when he was
negotiating, before the War, with Austria.


The Italian Government put forward the question of the islands for the
first time in April 11, 1915. There had been no previous discussion,
passionate or otherwise, as in the case of the Trentino and Triest. But
now they demanded various Dalmatian islands, the chief of which were
Hvar, Korčula and Vis, with a total population (in 1910) of 57,954.
The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador reported (cf. Red Book, concerning April
14, p. 133) that a conversation between Baron Sonnino and Prince Bülow
with respect to these islands had been extremely animated, and that
Sonnino had pointed out that the Navy and the whole country expected of
him that he would alter Italy's unfavourable position on the Adriatic,
where from Venice to Taranto she had not one serviceable harbour, that
is to say serviceable war-harbour. And Sonnino added that he thought
this was an opportune moment in which to rectify that state of things.
On April 28 the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, besides drawing the
Italians' attention to the nationality of the islanders--1·62 per cent.
calling themselves Italian--pointed out that not only would there no
longer be any question of a strategic equilibrium in the Adriatic if
Austria were to lose these islands, but that the adjacent coast would
always be threatened. On May 4, the Ambassador asked whether an
arrangement with Italy would be impossible if the Austrians agreed to
every one of Italy's other conditions, showing thereby what the value of
these islands was in Austrian eyes. When Sonnino did not reply to this
question, the Ambassador understood that Italy's participation in the
War had been determined. But on May 10, the Austrian Government made up
its mind to give up Pelagosa "on account of its proximity to the Italian
coast." As a matter of fact it lies 42 miles from Vis and 33 miles from
the nearest point in Apulia. As a strategic base this group of rocks
would have no value, since the water is too deep for the construction of
a harbour, and the sirocco rages with such ferocity that it flings the
foam over the top of the lighthouse, which is 360 feet in height. This
inhospitable place, with its population of 13 human beings, some sheep
and goats, was inhabited in prehistoric days; when the excavations were
being made for the lighthouse a variety of implements from the Stone Age
were discovered, including a stone arrow that was found between the ribs
of a skeleton.... But the Austrian Ambassador let it be known at the
same time that he would be prepared to make a further friendly
examination of the Italian demands with reference to the other islands.
His Government also on May 15 (Red Book, No. 185, p. 181) announced that
they were quite disposed to reopen the discussion. However, on the 23rd
of the month, Italy came into the War. The Italians had been explaining
that if only Austria would give up these islands--which was as if you
were to invite a person whose designs you suspected to come and camp in
the hall of your house--then, said the Italians, there would be an
excellent prospect of permanently amicable relations between the two


As soon as the War was over, Italy disembarked on the islands which she
had obtained by the Treaty of London. Something has been said on
previous pages of the way in which she introduced herself and made
herself at home. As we were sailing towards the pretty town of Jelša
(Gelsa) on the island of Hvar, we left Vrboška on our right. The
Bishop of Split had told me of a grievance which the Italian troops at
that place had lodged with his brother, the mayor. Some of them had
visited, for the fêtes of carnival, both the Yugoslav Club, where they
found many persons who could speak Italian, and the Italian Club, where
they were annoyed to find that it was spoken by very few. As we came
into the little port of Jelša, with the green shutters of its white
houses harmonizing with the foliage of the cypresses and oleanders, we
could see a crowd of people running round--and carabinieri running with
them--to that part of the harbour where we were unexpectedly going to
stop. There was some confusion, the carabinieri pushing the people back,
evidently to prevent them shaking hands with us; and one small boy who
did not hear or did not understand what they were shouting received a
terrific blow in the back from the fist of a furious Italian. Some cries
were raised in honour of Yugoslavia, Wilson, France and England, which
may have been imprudent; but when a place in which there is not one
single Italian has been held down for months, has been forbidden to
show the slightest joy on account of the birth of Yugoslavia, has been
savagely punished for having a copy of a Yugoslav newspaper, has
repeatedly been cursed and cuffed and ordered, at the bayonet's point,
to execute some wish of the carabinieri--one cannot be astonished if in
the presence of some non-Italian foreigners they could no longer repress
their feelings. Some of the people had brought flowers with them, and as
Pommerol and I plunged into the whirlpool and made our way towards the
Italian commander's office, we had many flowers either thrust into our
hands while the carabinieri were looking the other way or else we had
them thrown at us, in which case some of them would usually descend upon
the shoulders or the three-cornered hats of the carabinieri. Whenever
anybody uttered one of the forbidden exclamations one or more of the
carabinieri would fling themselves into the crowd and attempt, with the
help of vigorous kicking, to reach the culprit. Thus, in the midst of a
series of scrimmages, we got to the captain's quarters. We found him a
very pleasant young man, keenly conscious of the difficulties of his
position; as we afterwards heard, he was such an improvement on his
predecessor that the carabinieri were convinced he was a Yugoslav and
had been heard to mutter threats against his life. He had apologized to
the inhabitants, and had dismissed one of his men who had hauled down a
Yugoslav flag and blown his nose on it. For these men an extenuating
circumstance was that they had been very drunk on the night before our
arrival, as they had heard--it was in the first half of June 1919--that
the islands had been definitely given to Italy, and this they had been
celebrating. We knew that after an American and an Englishman had
visited Jelša, in the time of the other commandant, some of the
people were interned; the young captain assured us that he would do no
such thing. And one could see that he would never imitate the brutality
of his predecessor, who had caused a frail old man of sixty-six,
Professor Zarić, to be pulled out of his bed in the middle of a
winter's night and taken across the hills on a donkey to Starigrad,
afterwards on a destroyer to Split, from where--but for the intervention
of the American Admiral--he would have been deported to Italy; and all
on account of his having written, in English and French, a scientific
ethnographical treatise on the islands.


At Starigrad on our arrival the harbour and its precincts looked like the
scene of an opera, with an opening chorus of carabinieri. They were posted
at various tactical points and no one else was visible. One of them
advanced, however, and conducted us at our request to the office of the
Commandant, a major who must have played a very modest part in the War, as
I believe he only had three rows of ribbons.[39] He gave us some vermouth
and informed us that the population was very quiet, very happy. When I said
that I would like to see the mayor he sent an orderly, and in less than one
minute his worship stood before us. He immediately confirmed what the major
had said with regard to the population. In fact the picture which he drew
brought back to memory the comment of the Queen of Roumania who, when an
American lady at a reception in Belgrade told her that she lived at a place
called Knoxville or Coxville in the States, replied "How nice!" The good
Italians, quoth the mayor, were distributing supplies among the natives,
and with the exception of the Croat _intelligentsia_ they all wished for
union with Italy. I asked him if he did not think that, looking at it from
the economic point of view, there would be some difficulties when the
island's exports--wine and oil and fish--would have to compete with the
products of Italy. But he said that one must think of the other
benefits--no longer would the island have to bear the hated Austrian. It
was all the fault of Austria, he continued, that after 1885 the Starigrad
municipality had been Croat; since then the Italians had lost their school
and their orchestra. But now it would all be changed. He was clearly a
product of the new dispensation; and he told me that as the ex-mayor was an
Austrian of course he had to be discharged. Nothing else did this gentleman
tell me, which was a pity, as in a message, presumably sent by him, to an
Italian newspaper, _La Dalmazia_,[40] of Zadar, it was stated that in this
conversation I had displayed a supreme ignorance of local questions....
Then we all stood up and the major said that he would accompany us down to
the boat. I told him that I would join him there after I had seen some
Yugoslavs, and Pommerol was good enough to walk away with him while I went
round the ancient little town--it even has some Cyclopæan walls--with
certain Yugoslavs, two lawyers and a doctor. One of the lawyers turned out
to be the ex-mayor, whose Austrianism had apparently taken a less active
form than that of his successor, for he had only been an Austrian subject,
while the actual mayor--Dr. Tamašković--had served, until the end of
the War, in the 22nd Austrian Regiment. With regard to the events of 1885,
they told me that this was the time when the Croatian national
consciousness awoke, so that an insufficient number of people had remained
either to support an Italian school or yet an orchestra. And now the number
of Italian adherents was about 200 (out of 3600), and might increase if
ice-creams were handed round in all the schools. One of my companions
happened to live in the house of Hektorović, the sixteenth-century poet,
and we spent a few minutes in the perfectly delightful garden with its
palms and shady paths and bathing tank, like that one in the Alcazar at
Seville. Then we went on to the harbour where a number of the people were
collected. Pommerol was in the middle of a group of military and naval
officers and civilians, these latter being partly visitors from Istria and
Zadar. Suddenly a woman, standing near me, threw her head back and cried:
"Viva Italia!" when other people joined her she redoubled her efforts. I
should say that about thirty people were gathered round the major, shouting
for Italy, and he was obviously gratified. But then a much larger number of
persons who had different sentiments began to shout for Wilson, Yugoslavia
and so forth. The carabinieri rushed among them, howling vengeance. A Mrs.
Politeo, who was holding a bouquet, was flung down by them and trampled on.
The lawyers and the doctor with whom I had been walking were all three
struck over the head or on the shoulders with the butt end of muskets. (_La
Dalmazia_ wrote that I had been filling their heads with idle tales.)
Children were screaming. I saw another woman, hatless, being dragged off by
a couple of carabinieri--and a naval officer, who was disgusted, sternly
ordered them to let her go--and they obeyed reluctantly. Four Dominican
monks were next attacked--they had not taken part in the demonstration; it
was enough for the carabinieri that they belonged to the Yugoslav party.
One of them, Father Rabadan--an elderly gentleman with gold spectacles--was
thrown down, struck until his face was covered with blood, and then dragged
off to prison. The carabinieri were being helped by soldiers--one of these
I saw in the act of loading his rifle--and the noise was tremendous. Here
one would see a Yugoslav trying to tell one of the warriors that he had
done nothing; then another ardito would go swooping on to his prey: one or
two of the officers looked awkward--one or two actually looked exultant. As
we steamed out of the harbour four or five carabinieri and arditi were
running along the road parallel with us, others were climbing over the
stone walls--apparently it was a man-hunt. "There are places in Dalmatia,"
Signor Luzzatti, an Italian ex-Premier, had been saying in the _Temps_,[41]
"where Yugoslavs and Italians are mingled; but it is clear that in those
circumstances the oldest and serenest civilization should prevail. Italy in
her relations with other races has continued the traditions of ancient
Rome.... It is their palpitating desire [_i.e._ that of Fiume, Sebenico,
Zara, Traù, Spalato, etc.] to live under the direct protection of Italy."
And on the next day a telegram was sent to Split from the unoccupied island
of Brać, giving the names of twenty-one persons who were arrested, and
the name [Semeri] of an officer who had helped to beat Father Rabadan and
continued: "The carabinieri are still looking for Yugoslavs. On the
occasion of the arrestment of the clerk Nikola Pavičić, the musket of
an ardito went off and an eye was blown out to Mr. Pavičić. Great
terror prevails among the Yugoslav population." A later message, to the
newspaper _Jadran_ at Split, said that twenty-eight persons had been
arrested and imprisoned in two narrow cells, which were overlooked from the
neighbouring houses. There they were being maltreated, and for the first
day being given nothing to eat. Everyone felt surprise that among the
arrested was a certain Mr. Vladimir Vranković, as he was one of those
who had betrayed their nationality. But after ten minutes this clumsiness
on the part of a carabiniere was rectified and, by command of Major
Penatta, he was released. All those who could get away from Starigrad were
taking refuge in the villages. The message ended by asking for the
intervention of the Entente, as the people's life was being made
intolerable, and for the reason that they would not trample under foot
everything which they regard as holy. But, according to _La Dalmazia_, the
indignant Italian population sent to the Paris Conference a vibrating
telegram, which begged for immediate annexation to Italy, and protested
against those who in an unworthy and ugly manner had disturbed the place's
beautiful tranquillity.... The prisoners were court-martialled at Zadar and
condemned to terms that varied from four to eight months--seven of the
accused, including Father Rabadan and two other Dominicans, receiving the
severest sentence.... I hope the indignant Italian population dispatched,
later on, a telegram of thanks to the Paris Conference for having ordered
Yugoslavia to guarantee the position of the handful of Italians to be left
in Yugoslav territory, and even their special commercial interests in
Dalmatia; while the half million Slovenes and Croats whom Italy proposed to
annex were not to be protected by an equivalent guarantee. It would be
ridiculous to bind with such conditions a Great, Liberal Power.

After this it was no great surprise to hear, on reaching Hvar, the
capital of the island, that our further progress was impeded. The pale
Commandant of sinister aspect, this time a naval officer, Lieut.
Vincenzo Villa, showed us a telegram from the Vice-Admiral at
Korčula, which said that we were not to be allowed to speak to any of
the inhabitants. "To explore the islands there is some little
difficulty," said Burton in a lecture on the ruined cities, which he
visited when he was Consul at Triest. Early in the morning our cook, who
went ashore to see what he could buy, was immediately arrested by the
carabinieri, who were keeping order very much like those "bravissimi
citadini" who in the autumn of 1870, when many of the citizens of Rome
were at loggerheads with the Vatican, arrested and disarmed all those
adherents of the Papacy who showed their noses outside the Vatican's
portals. Our cook was afterwards released by the Commandant, who allowed
him to visit the market, escorted by carabinieri. After that we returned
to Split, and from there to Zadar, in order to see Admiral Millo.

One would like to know what the Admiral would have said if this
interview had taken place a few months later when, in alliance with
Gabriele d'Annunzio, he was in open, armed revolt against the Government
of Italy. The dark-bearded, stately Admiral, Senator of the Kingdom, had
not begun as yet to make that series of buccaneering speeches, and he
courteously told us, more than once, that he could permit of nothing
which would outrage public order. He was much afraid that if we went
back to the islands we would be the cause of lamentable scenes; in fact
he could not let us go without an order from his Government. "These
islands," he said, "are not yet ours; we are occupying them, as you
know, in the name of the Entente and the United States. You have the
right," he said, "to go there; but, unfortunately, if you do, the
population will give way, as they have done already, to excesses." Since
the last thing that we wished was for the islanders to bring us flowers
and cheer the name of Wilson--in view of what these crimes entailed--we
suggested that a small number, four or five of each party--those who
desired to be with Yugoslavia and those who preferred Italy--should in
succession come to us on board. Naturally we should be unable to do so
if we had to visit any inland place; and after a prolonged argument the
Admiral agreed to this plan. We returned to Hvar.


The subordinate Admiral, from Korčula, had come across on a destroyer
and was kind enough to tell us at considerable length what were his
views on local and international affairs. He frankly appealed to us--and
his humorous blue eyes were radiating frankness--to survey the whole
matter in a broad, statesmanlike fashion. But we were less ambitious; we
desired merely to be the mouthpiece of both parties. Those who first
came on board were the Italianists, and I hope I shall not be considered
unfair if I employ this word rather than "Italians" for a body of men,
most of whom are admittedly devoid of any Italian blood and whose
Italian sympathies are of very recent growth. This class numbers 9 per
cent. of the population of the town. Their chief point seemed to be that
the Church was opposed to them, because there was no room for
clericalism in Italy (!); and the only other point worth mentioning was
that Austria was to blame for the phylloxera which had played havoc with
their vines. Among the Yugoslavs who succeeded these gentlemen there was
an elderly priest, a canon, who related that some carabinieri--no doubt
in order to display to all men that Italy had shaken herself free from
clerical obscurantism--entered the church while the bishop was
officiating, and hoisted on the roof an Italian flag. This canon, Dom
Ivo Bojanić, could scarcely be blamed if the Italian innovations did
not appeal to him. He chanced to be looking out of his window on a
moonlit night and noticed that an agile policeman was climbing up to his
balcony for the purpose of decorating it with an Italian flag. The old
gentleman protested, and was thereupon taken to the barracks, where he
remained for one day. The Yugoslavs told us that the state of things was
worse than in Africa--but that was a figure of speech; the facts were
that the different societies and clubs had been closed, that all persons
going down to the harbour had been forbidden to speak their own language
to their friends on board ship, that three Croat teachers had fled to
escape being interned, while an Italian soldier who did not know a word
of Croatian had been appointed in their place.


When we departed from Hvar the Admiral sent his destroyer to accompany
us on our tour. She had on board a Roman journalist, Signor Roberto
Buonfiglio, who was travelling in Dalmatia and the islands on behalf of
the clerical _Corriere d'Italia_. The situation at Vis, the historic
palm-shaded capital of the island of the same name, has already been
described. The Italian Commandant, Sportiello, was a tactful and popular
person; moreover the Yugoslavs were on the best of terms with Dr. Doimi,
the head of one of the very rare Italian families. At Komiža, the
other little town on that island, the relations between Yugoslavs and
Italianists were not so cordial. But the deputation which represented
the latter party comprised one man whom the Austrians had put in gaol
for several years for forgery; a father and son, of whom the one had
sold himself for the sake of rice, while the other had also been
imprisoned by the Austrians for uttering false documents; the fourth and
most innocent member--his name happened to be Innocent Buliani--had
nothing to conceal except his fickleness, for in a short period he had
called himself an Austrian, a Yugoslav and an Italian. None of these
four was a native of the place, whereas the Yugoslavs who came to see us
were natives who had risen to be the chief doctor, lawyer, priest and
merchant. One of the Italianists, Antonio Spadoni, told us that the
people were afraid of expressing their real wishes for union with Italy.
This hypothesis might seem to demand some elucidation, but Signor
Spadoni insisted on passing on to the "Workers' Society," which the
young Commandant had founded for the purpose, according to Spadoni, of
helping the people to find work and of looking after their interests. We
were subsequently told by the Yugoslavs that the Commandant himself
called the members his "Rice Italians," for many of them did not speak
the language and did not even sympathize with Italy. But on joining they
had committed themselves to something that was printed at the top of the
paper, which part had been turned over. It really doesn't sound very
worthy of a Great Power. When some of the members, discovering to what
they were committed, sent in their resignation, it was refused. At
Komiža all the municipal officers had been discharged by the
Italians, the reading-rooms and places of amusement had been closed, and
the Food Administrator at Split was forbidden to send any food, lest he
should interfere with the Italians' object in distributing rice, etc.
Once he was permitted to forward some American flour, and the people had
to pay forty crowns of duty on each hundredweight.


From Komiža, the next morning, we steamed over on the destroyer to
the wonderful blue grotto of Biševo (or Busi), which surpasses Capri.
An Austrian Archduke, we were told, had once waited a week at Komiža,
but had been compelled to leave without seeing the cave. We were more
fortunate--the wind, the water and the sun were kind to us; we entered
in a rowing-boat the little pearl-grey Gothic chapel which Nature has
constructed underneath a hill, and as we gazed into the blue-green
waters, through which from the rocks below a fountain of most brilliant
blue was rising, every time an oar was dipped the waters painted it a
silvery white. The population of Biševo consists of about 150 people,
who mostly live around the little church of Saint Sylvester, two hundred
feet above the sea. They occupy themselves with sheep and fruit and bees
and fish, and with the vines that are even more famous than those of
Vis. A good part of the population had assembled on a grassy platform
high above the entrance to the cave, and as we climbed out of the
rowing-boat on to the destroyer a much larger rowing-boat came round a
promontory. Sixteen women formed the crew. They sang their national
Croatian songs, and when they approached us some of them stood up and,
while the wind played with their straw-coloured and golden hair, they
laughingly threw flowers at us. As we left Biševo the men and women
high above us and the women in the boat were waving their hands; some of
them were singing, others were shouting a farewell. Here and there on
the sunlit waters, rising and falling, were the flowers which had woven
on the sea a gorgeous carpet. "Well," said the lieutenant-commander, "I
admit that this is a Yugoslav island."

I forget whether Signor Buonfiglio made any remark, but a few hours
later at Velaluka he was most incensed. As our boat--we had returned to
the old _Porer_ at Komiža--sailed into the harbour a huge Yugoslav
flag was flying from the summit of a hill, with French, British and
American flags around it. The destroyer had arrived before us and the
burly journalist was striding up and down the quay. "I protest," he
exclaimed, as he saw us, "and not as a journalist but as an Italian
citizen! I protest!" Between us and the front row of houses, which
included the town-major's office, there was a large empty space--the
inhabitants could be descried up the side-streets and behind the
windows. De Michaelis, the town-major, was evidently a superior young
man; as he poured out the champagne he told us with perfect frankness
that the educated people at Velaluka were Yugoslavs. Suddenly there was
a terrific noise just underneath us. We hurried downstairs and found
that the soldiers in their excitement had fired off a machine gun into
the wall. Half an hour later the firing could be heard from the top of
the hill, but we never ascertained whether anyone was wounded. In this
place the Italianist party sent to us an ex-publican who had now joined
the police, a small trader and a municipal clerk who had recently been
imported from Zadar. The Yugoslavs were a large landowner, a doctor and
a priest, who told us that the people for the most part were refusing to
accept gratuitous food from the Italians.


We were anxious to visit Blato, an inland village of 8000 inhabitants.
De Michaelis regretted very much that he had no carriage, but a Yugoslav
had a quaint little car on which he was learning how to drive and he was
kind enough to take us--for which he was afterwards deported to Italy.
The good man made so much noise in changing his gears that our progress
was advertised in the uttermost fields, and very few of those who bore
down upon us came unprovided with flowers. Several of the bouquets hit
Pommerol or myself in the eye, and the Dutch say that the best cause has
need of a good pleader. But the people were so gay, waving their hats
and running after us (they did not always have to run) and shouting for
the various Allies and for President Wilson. I remember two small
round-eyed boys who were not old enough to run; they were standing hand
in hand by the side of the road, panting the magic word "Wilson! Wilson!
Wilson!" There was a sudden contrast when we jerked into the village.
People were not rushing towards us, but away from us--with furious
carabinieri behind them. We got into the garden in front of the
_gendarmerie_; one of the men was so enraged that he kept on muttering
"Bestia! Bestia! Bestia!" In the Commandant's office we met Major
Federico Verdinois, the town-major, who said that if he had only known
of our coming this wretched scuffle would not have happened. Even as he
spoke it started again; we leaned out of the window and saw two or three
persons who were being prevented by soldiers from going down the street
or from going anywhere. An officer was slashing with a riding-whip at a
soldier who was particularly rough. "One can do nothing with the
marines; they are brutal," said Major Verdinois. At last there was
peace, and the major said that an Italian deputation would come to see
us. It consisted of six individuals. The Austro-Hungarian census of 1910
said that the Blato district contained 13,147 Serbo-Croats, 3 Germans
and 6 Italians; but these six were not all in the deputation, for two of
its members had come from Hvar, one from Zadar, two were ex-Austrian
spies and one was a Yugoslav, who hoped in this way to help his people.
One gentleman deplored that he had not been told about our journey; had
he known he would have told his peasants to appear. Another gentleman
assured us that the peasants were afraid of declaring their real wishes.
Of course a country whose friends call it the most liberal in the world
could not allow such a state of things to continue, and a short time
after this the following Order was issued by the staff of the 66th
Division of Infantry:

No. 46. Confidential--Personal. VERY URGENT.

_June_ 23, 1919.



It is necessary to bring about, with no delay and very discreetly, the
dispatch of messages to the Prime Minister Nitti and to the Minister of
Foreign Affairs Tittoni from the mayor, from societies, etc., of this
garrison, expressing the people's keen desire to be annexed to Italy.

A copy of said telegram should be transmitted to me.

   FORESI.             SQUILLACE.

To return to the events at Blato--while we were waiting for the
Yugoslavs a woman made her way as far as the corridor, flung herself
down on her knees and entreated us to protect her. Major Verdinois gave
us his word of honour that no Yugoslav with whom we spoke would, for
that reason, be arrested. Perhaps he was overruled by his superior
officers--at all events he arrested and deported to Italy, in the night
of June 19, no less than ten persons, that is, all the Yugoslavs who
spoke to us at Blato, with two exceptions. [We cabled this to the Paris
Conference, and after some delay the unfortunate men were repatriated.]


For what happened before our arrival I am indebted to the chemist
Radimiri, from whose report the following is an extract: "At ten in the
morning Major Verdinois had summoned to his office the communal doctor,
Moretti, and the secretary, Dragunić, both of them Yugoslavs. He told
them that two Englishmen who were cruising about in the _Porer_ would
very likely be coming up that afternoon to Blato and he would permit no
sort of demonstration. The doctor, he said, would be held responsible
for any disorder; and as Moretti was about to make this known to the
people, who were just coming out of church, the Italian adjutant
approached him with a paper and ordered him to read it to the Yugoslavs.
This document--it has been preserved--is in the Serbo-Croat language and
was given to the doctor because the adjutant, who did not know the
language, mistook it for another one. It was an exhortation to the
people, urging them to have nothing more to do with the Yugoslav
_intelligentsia_, which had made a great deal of money during the War.
'And you have given your blood for four and a half years and what has
been your benefit?' Dr. Moretti made a personal appeal for the
maintenance of order, and the people, having called out 'Long live
Wilson!' went their divers ways in peace. Nevertheless three platoons
appeared, each with one officer and one N.C.O. The adjutant's platoon
distinguished itself, for while the arditi attacked anyone they saw,
including women and children, with the butt end of their muskets, Lieut.
Giovanoni laid about him with a dog-whip. Several of the soldiers made
for a group of four young fellows; three of them escaped and the fourth,
Peter Kraljević, was struck with a rifle so severely across the face
that he was bathed in blood. As he tried to defend himself he was shot
at from a distance of three paces: one bullet went through his nose,
another wounded him in the forehead. He fell to the ground, and a
teacher, Mrs. Maria Grubisić, who had witnessed the whole incident,
sank down unconscious at his side and was covered with his blood.
Various other people were injured--three little girls received rifle
shots in their bodies. All the main streets were shut off and eight
machine guns were placed in readiness. But the people were not to be
intimidated, and when the Englishmen arrived their national
consciousness was displayed. As a result Peter Čarap was knocked
unconscious with a mighty blow of a musket, the fourteen-year-old Joseph
Suležić had a similar experience, and among many others who were
assaulted we will only mention an ex-official, Anthony Pižtulić, a
man of sixty, who was struck twice with a rifle on his stomach and then
prevented from going home but chased out into the fields.... It seemed
as if it would be impossible for our people to have a conversation with
the Englishmen, but at last twenty men and twelve girls managed to reach
that house...."


I would also give Signor Buonfiglio's dispatch from this island--it
appeared in the _Corriere d'Italia_ of June 16--but more than
three-quarters of it is devoted to an account of some Dalmatian
delegates who were received, during the War, by Francis Joseph and
expressed their loyalty. The deputation was introduced by Dr.
Ivčević, a Croat; and if Signor Buonfiglio wants us to deduce from
this how ardently the Croats loved the Habsburgs he will have to give
some other explanation for the very loyal speeches of his countryman,
Dr. Ziliotto of Zadar. But I presume that his editor did not send Signor
Buonfiglio on this journey to the end that he should write of what
official speakers saw fit to say during the War. As for the incidents we
witnessed and the islanders' aspirations, he merely says that their
welcome to us was an artificial affair which the Yugoslav committees,
with extreme effort, had organized--and I don't think that that is a
very illuminating observation.

We learned that on arriving in Blato the Italians dissolved the town
council, on account of its incapacity to do the work. However, a
military man to whom it was handed over gave his opinion that he had
never seen a better administration.... Out of all that we were told, I
will relate the following: some Italian soldiers were playing football,
and when they kicked the ball into a maize-field and continued to play
amid the maize, the farmers asked them to desist. Two officers and forty
men were present; they fell upon the three farmers, and when finally the
major commanded them to stop, they dragged them to the barracks and
thrashed them so that the people in adjacent houses heard them all the

On our way to the minute harbour of Pregorica, where the _Porer_ was
waiting for us, we had a repetition of the scenes enacted between
Velaluka and Blato; and a number of young men, heedless of the risks
they ran, rushed down the mountain-side to Pregorica by the shortcuts.
In the harbour were some carabinieri, as well as our escorting
destroyer. We therefore had to leave without delay, lest the young
patriots should come into contact with the carabinieri. So very hastily
and in a very illegible scrawl I copied the original letter given on
November 4, 1918, by Lieut. Poggi to the people of Velaluka: "We
Italians," it said, "have come to Velaluka as the friends of Yugoslavia
and of the Entente. We have come as friends and not as foes, and as such
I ask you to accept us. We are hoisting our flag together with that of
Yugoslavia, and with your friendly consent we will keep it there until
the question of the general peace is definitely arranged, according to
your and our ... according to the principles of ..." The two missing
words are illegible.


Lying off Korčula, that evening, we received the usual delegates. One
of the Italians, Dr. Benussi, said in a trembling, tearful voice that
the Italians were far too good. And while we were hearing from one of
his colleagues what were his views on the subject of a plebiscite, Dr.
Benussi moaned unceasingly, "I wish I had not come! I wish I had not
come!" He considered that it was outrageous of us to allude to
plebiscites. The Yugoslavs did not tell us anything very thrilling; the
Italian authorities persisted in writing to the peasants in Italian, of
which they scarcely understand a word. What a pity that this is not
their most serious fault! A barrister called Dr. Pero Cviličević
came, with a companion, to see us the next day, before breakfast. He
said that they, like most people on the island, were Croats; and he and
his friend belonged to the Serbo-Croat party, which was, he said, a
righteous, though rather a small party, as the island had been gravely
handicapped by the support which Austria gave the Serbs. "And now," he
added--it seemed a trifle illogical--"the people are all very contented.
Believe me," he said. Furthermore, he volunteered the information that
the law was being administered in the name of the Entente and the United
States. It may show a distinct bias on our part, but I fear we asked
him whether the blows from the butt end of muskets were being applied
under the same sanction.... When we paid our formal visit to the
Commandant at his office on the quay he did not ask if we would care to
go to one of the Italian schools. An American journalist had made a
speech in Rome, describing how he had been taken to a school at
Korčula, how the mistress had allowed him to ask the children if they
knew Italian, how they had raised their hands, and how this had
convinced him that Dalmatia should become Italian. Apparently that
journalist had not been told that prior to the War this town of some
2000 inhabitants was provided with five schools in which not a single
child spoke Italian, and with one school subsidized by the Liga
Nazionale which--as in Albania--lured its pupils by gifts of clothing,
books, etc. The teachers, from the Trentino, knew not a word of
Serbo-Croat and the children not a word of Italian. But not very much
harm was done, as the population considered it shameful to attend this
school, and the bribes never succeeded in attracting more than thirty
pupils, even when money was paid to the parents. This institution was
reopened by the Italian army after the War, and presumably it is the one
which the American visited. I do not know whether the schoolmistress,
forewarned of his visit, had told the children in Serbo-Croat that a
gentleman would come and say something in Italian, whereupon they would
hold up their hands.


Seeing that the Adriatic problem, after all these months, had not been
solved but on the contrary had been allowed to spread its poison more
and more, one naturally wonders what was being done in Paris. The
Conference was fortunate enough to have at its disposal, after the
Armistice, the famous ethnologist and archæologist Sir Arthur Evans.
This gentleman, whose distinctions are too numerous to mention (Fellow
of Brasenose; twice President of the British Association; Keeper during
twenty-four years of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford; D.Litt.; LL.D.;
F.R.S.; P.S.A., and so forth), has for many years devoted himself to the
eastern Adriatic--the second edition of his _Through Bosnia and the
Herzegovina on Foot_ appeared in 1877, his _Illyrian Letters_ in 1878,
his _Slavs and European Civilization_ in the same year. He never ceased
from that time onward to study these matters. "I think," he says in a
letter to me from Youlbury, near Oxford, of which he kindly permits me
to make any use I like, "that in some ways I have more title to speak on
the Adriatic Question than any other Englishman, as Dalmatia was my
headquarters for some years. Neither did I approach the question with
any anti-Italian prejudices. I was so far recognized as a competent and
moderate authority that I was asked by the Royal Geographical Society to
give them a paper on the subject.... Anxious, with others friendly to
both sides, to secure an equitable agreement between the Italians and
Yugoslavs, I took part in a series of private conferences in London
which led to a preliminary Agreement forming the basis on which the
Congress at Rome approached the question. There the Agreement was
ratified and publicly approved by Orlando. How Sonnino proceeded to try
to wreck it, you will know. Finally (just before the Armistice, as it
happened) there was to have been a new Congress of Nationalities at
Paris, which I was asked to attend. It was stopped by the big Allies, as
matters were thought too critical, owing to the submission of Bulgaria.
But I thought it would be useful if I went to Paris all the same, and I
obtained from the Foreign Office, War Office, etc., a passport viséd
'British War Mission.' Shortly after I arrived in Paris the Armistice
was declared. Soon afterwards, owing to the departure of Mr. Steed and
Dr. Seton-Watson, there was left literally no one among our countrymen
at Paris who knew the intricacies of the Adriatic Question and the
relations of Italy with the Yugoslavs, and the Yugoslav-Roumanian
difficulties, etc. That being the case, Lord Derby asked me to be his
go-between, and I had an immense lot of work thrown on my shoulders. I
had gone to the expense of taking a large salon at the Hotel
Continental, where I had private Conferences--the Yugoslav and Roumanian
leaders there, for instance, discussed the Banat frontier question, and
the conciliatory proposals made no doubt furthered the final solution,
with which they harmonized. When there was a serious danger of a clash
between the Italian army and the Serbian forces at Ljubljana, knowing
the imminence of the danger I made such strong representations to Lord
D., which he forwarded to Balfour, that immediate pressure was exercised
at Rome, and the Italians just drew back in time. I also was able to
convey strong monitions to the other side. I used to let our Ambassador
have a short précis almost daily of affairs connected with those
regions.... With great trouble I prevailed on the Yugoslav
representatives to agree to a scheme, which I drew up, for the
neutralization of the East Adriatic coastal waters, and this was taken
up by the Americans--Colonel House inviting me to an interview on the
subject, in which he expressed his approval. A copy was also sent to the
F.O., and for this and for several other bits of work useful to the F.O.
I received Balfour's official thanks. I had also many friendly
conversations with prominent Italians in Paris, and in every way
ingeminated agreement between them and the Southern Slavs. But,
meanwhile, I exposed the Nationalist Italian campaign, to which Sonnino
was privy, in the _Manchester Guardian_. Finally I went, at the end of
1918, for a short holiday to England, Lord Derby (with whom I always had
the friendliest relations) giving me a diplomatic pass. When, however,
early in January 1919 I prepared to return to Paris, where I had kept on
my expensive rooms, I found difficulties in my way. Italian intrigue had
apparently been on foot. I was advised to write to Lord Hardinge, and I
told him briefly the circumstances. This great man never answered or
acknowledged my letter, and it was only by making urgent personal
representations at the F.O. that I finally got the answer that they
refused me a passport.... I gather that it was not only Italian intrigue
but the feeling that they did not want 'damned experts.' And so they
blundered on, and to this day"--the letter is dated July 17,
1920--"nothing is settled on the Adriatic but unsettlement."


Meanwhile at intervals during this year there had been troubles in
Montenegro. On three occasions the Italians at Antivari had endeavoured
to extend their sphere of influence, but the armed civilian population
had been equal to these emergencies and had each time thrust them back
to the coast. At Gaeta, between Rome and Naples, a very well-paid corps
was stationed--almost every man was either a commissioned or a
non-commissioned officer. The Italian Government was asked by Signor
Lazari, the Socialist deputy, for what purpose it allocated 300,000 lire
a month to support these peculiar troops. They were mostly
Montenegrins--relatives of Nikita, members of the five favoured
families, persons who were stranded and so forth; likewise at Gaeta were
a number of other Yugoslavs who had been liberated from their Italian
internment camps, but many of them, when they discovered what was
expected of them, revolted. Thirty or forty of them managed to escape to
France, and others to Montenegro, as for example the man who for twelve
years had been Nikita's porter. He and three others reached Cetinje one
day in August 1920 when I was there. They had with them a picture-card
of the sixty-nine officers of the Gaeta army. Every one knows every one
else in Montenegro and only two of these officers had held a previous
commission. According to Nikita's Premier, Jovan Plamenac, the Italian
Government considered this as the Montenegrin army and regarded (rather
optimistically) as a loan the money it contributed to keep it up. In
driblets the non-revolting part of this Gaeta army was taken to the
eastern shores of the Adriatic, for the purpose of making "incidents" in
Montenegro. There was a regular scale--so much in cash for the murder of
a prefect, so much for a deputy. One day the father of Andrija
Radović, a man of over seventy, was cut down; they waited until
everyone had left the village to go to some fête in a neighbouring
village, and the old man defended himself to the last.

These emissaries from Gaeta, misguided Montenegrins, other Southern
Slavs and Italians, made considerable use of the mischievous speeches
that were sometimes heard in the British Parliament. They would explain
to some poor, ignorant mountain-dweller that such great people in
England were still discussing Nikita's return, and if he did return and
they had listened to the voice of Radović, woe be to them. Some of
these wretched dupes would follow their seducers, who--I have no
doubt--would not only have declined his decorations if they had been
better informed, but would have placed the matter in the hands of their
solicitor, as Gabriel Rossetti threatened to do if he were ever elected
to the Royal Academy. And yet, after the character of the scoundrel King
was fully exposed, his advocates, so far as I know, had not the grace to
own their error. Of course there was in Montenegro a certain amount of
uninstigated unrest; the wine of politics, which they were now for the
first time freely quaffing, had gone to their heads--it was youth
against age, the students were enthusiastic Democrats, the peasants were
sturdy Radicals and they did not always restrict themselves to
dialectical arguments. A certain number of people had gone to live "u
shumi"--"in the woods." But the reasons that impelled them were not so
much their devotion to the ex-King, as their own criminal past or their
poverty. Others again had taken to this life for what may be called
reasons of "honour."[42] Among the brigands was a man who was captured
on the borders of Herzegovina, and before his execution--he had murdered
seven people--he declared that he was a patriot and had done all this
for the sake of King Nicholas, his victims being members of the
domineering party. But when reminded that one of them was a baby, he
hung his head and said no more.... There was discontent produced by the
high cost of living--as the Italians not only held Antivari but even
fired on French boats that were taking supplies up the river Bojana, it
was necessary to revictual all except the new parts of Montenegro from
Kotor. The lack of petrol, from which even the American Red Cross units
were suffering, compelled the authorities to fall back on ox-waggons,
which at any rate are not expeditious. By the way, it was the staff of
another mission, calling itself the International Red Cross, which was
to blame for adding to the country's troubles; after they had been
installed for a month or two at Cetinje the people themselves, and not
the authorities, turned them out, on the ground that they had used the
Red Cross to conceal their machinations in Nikita's interest. The
Yugoslav Government was held up to reprobation in the British Parliament
and press for having hampered more than one British mission in the work
of relieving the Montenegrins. The resources of these missions appeared
to be moderate--the head of one of them had a meeting with Colonels
Fairclough and Anderson of the American Red Cross and suggested that
they should provide him with the wherewithal for carrying on. But even
if their resources had been scantier their co-operation would have been
very welcome if they had satisfied the authorities that they were as
non-political as the Americans. It was curious that those who in the
British press ventilated the grievances of these missions were the same
people who championed Nikita.

The Italians persevered in their manœuvres--Nikola Kovačević,
the police commissary of Grahovo, sent in the month of May a
confidential man of his to the Italian General at Dobrota, near Kotor.
This man, who speaks perfect Italian, told the General that ever since
1916 he had haunted the forests as the leader of a band. Fifty persons,
he said, had attached themselves to him; and he had now come in for a
supply of arms and money, also for instructions. It would be impossible,
said he, to endure the Serbian troops much longer in the country.


"You must hold out for a couple of months longer," said the General. "I
can give you no money at present, but I can take you on a steamer to San
Giovanni, where we have a camp of the King's friends; and from there you
can easily go to Italy."

"I have given my word of honour," said the man, "that I will not go
without my people. So I must first of all go back to ask them."

"In a military way," said the General, "the Serbs can now do nothing.
They had tremendous losses in the war; and in two months the King of
Montenegro will return or else there will be an Italian occupation. Work
hard, my friend. I want you, in the first place, to set houses on fire;
then to shoot officers and officials who are for Yugoslavia. You should
also rob the transports."

Thereupon the man returned to Grahovo and soon afterwards the French
General Thaon, who happened to go there, spoke with him for two hours
and invited him to his headquarters at Kotor.

The disturbances in Montenegro did not cease; a country through which
you could formerly drive with less risk than in Paris, was now infested
by outlaws and those who pursued them. And Count de Salis, who had
served as H.B.M.'s Minister at Cetinje, was sent back to Montenegro on a
mission of inquiry. His report was not published, for the reason that he
did not beat about the bush in his references to the Italians and for
the further reason that he gave the names of those persons from whom he
culled his information. This was a fine opportunity for the foreign
busybodies who were thrusting their silly little knives into Yugoslavia.
"Count de Salis reports clearly and unmistakably," said Mr. Ronald
M'Neill in the House of Commons, "that in his judgment the wish of the
Montenegrin people is to retain their own sovereign and their own
independence." When Sir Hamar Greenwood subsequently, speaking for the
Government, threw out a hint that this was not the case, it was amusing
to see how the pro-Nikita party lost their interest in the report. A
certain Mr. Herbert Vivian sent from Italy in April 1920 a most
ferocious indictment against the Serbs in Montenegro to a London paper
called the _British Citizen_. He said that the Countess de Salis, while
at Cetinje, was in danger of her life. But the lady has been dead for
many years. I presume this is the same Mr. Vivian who in a book,
_Servia, the Poor Man's Paradise_, trembles with rage whenever a Serb
speaks admiringly of Gladstone.


Count de Salis's impartial methods did not always please the population,
which was by a large majority against the former king's return and--as
he clearly stated--heart and soul for Yugoslavia. Balkan people do not
yet, to any great extent, appreciate your desire for truth or even your
honesty if you should give a hearing to their antagonists. The Cetinje
public, therefore, organized a demonstration or two against the Count.
They would have preferred that he should reach the afore-mentioned
conclusions without such an exhaustive study of the case. He noted that
there had been certain irregularities in the Yugoslav administration,
but it was inevitable that in those unsettled times the inexperienced
officials would not prove equal to every emergency. These officials, by
the way, in 1919 were not Serbs from Serbia, but for the most part
native Montenegrins. "The country is occupied and administered by
foreigners," said[43] Mr. Ronald M'Neill, M.P. "Montenegro," said he,
"is full of Serb officials." I suppose one must receive it more with
sorrow than with anger if a man like Mr. Massingham of _The Nation_
says that the Serbs "have deposed the Montenegrin judges, schoolmasters,
doctors, chemists and local officials, and set up their own puppets."
While he might have assumed that the long years of War had left the
Serbs with a very inadequate supply of officials for the old kingdom, he
would have ascertained, if his sources had been more trustworthy, that
Glomažić, the very human prefect of Cetinje, is a native of
Nikšić, that Miloš Ivanović, the mayor, is from the Kuči,
near Podgorica--and he was a magistrate under Nikita; that Bojović,
the prefect of Podgorica, is a barrister of the Piperi, while
Radonić, the mayor, was an artillery officer, then a political
prisoner and then the food administrator under Nikita; that
Jaouković, the prefect of Nikšić, was a magistrate under the
old régime--he comes, I believe, from the Morača; Zerović, the
mayor and an ex-magistrate, is a native of Nikšić; that the
prefect of Antivari, Dr. Goinić, is a doctor of law whose home is
between Antivari and Virpazar; that Boško Bošković, the prefect
of Kolačin, won great fame as an officer under Nikita, while
Minić, the mayor, was Nikita's chief of the Custom-house. As for the
doctors who left the country, these consisted of Matanović and
Vulanović, who have gone to Novi Sad and Subotica respectively, as it
is easier to make a living in those towns than in Montenegro. There are
now three Yugoslav doctors at Cetinje (Odgerović, Radović--both of
whom were doctors in the time of Nikita--and Matanović, a young man);
they are all Montenegrins. So, too, with the chemists and the
schoolmasters and the post and telegraph officials--I am sure that Mr.
Massingham will excuse me if I do not mention all their names.

Since there are quite a number of Montenegrins in the Serbian
administration and army, all the officers and men, for example, of the
2nd--the so-called "iron"--Regiment being of Montenegrin origin, one
fails to see for what reason a Serb should be debarred from posts in
Montenegro. It is unfortunate when people use the word "Montenegrin"
without knowing that there is no separate Montenegrin nation, in the
sense that there is a French or Italian nation. The Montenegrins are a
small section of the Serbian nation, which sought a refuge among the
bare, precipitous mountains and, unlike the other Serbs, maintained its
independence. One should, therefore, to avoid confusion, speak of Serbs
of Serbia and Serbs of Montenegro rather than of Serbs and Montenegrins.
The purest Serbian is spoken in western Montenegro, on the borders of
Herzegovina; those districts are ethnically different from the southern
region, centring round Cetinje, which is the real old Montenegro, and
the north and north-eastern parts, called the Brda, which in speech and
customs are akin to the south. In western Montenegro, as in Herzegovina,
the people, who live among their mountains on milk and its products, are
very prolific, having families of eight or ten children. They are a very
healthy, moral race.

Another pro-Nikita, anti-Serbian writer, excusable only on account of
his insignificance, is Mr. Devine, who teaches, I am told, at a school
near Winchester and seems very unwilling to be taught. If he wishes, by
producing a book on the subject, to show other people that he knows
painfully little about Montenegro, that is his own affair. But he is
just as ignorant with regard to his hero. He says that he "is in a
position to state that there is not one single word of truth in the
insinuations and charges impugning the absolute integrity and loyalty of
King Nicholas towards his Allies." The King was, according to Mr.
Devine, a defenceless old man whom it was very bad form to attack. But
the King had been defending himself at considerable length not only in a
harangue to his adherents in a Paris suburb, but also on various
occasions in a newspaper, the _Journal Officiel_--and both the speech
and long extracts from the newspaper are quoted, with approval, in Mr.
Devine's book. This quaint person is so frantically keen to pour
whitewash over Nikita that he has no time to listen to the main
treacheries of Nikita's career. "Malicious falsehoods!" he
splutters--and they can be traced to horrible pan-Serbians. He has
reason to believe that they wish to make Serbia the Prussia of the new
Federation; well, the Croats and the Slovenes and the Bosniaks and all
the others cannot say that Mr. Devine has not warned them. My
Montenegrin friend Mr. Burić stated in the columns of the _Saturday
Review_ that this odd gentleman had nourished the ambition of becoming
Montenegrin Minister to the Court of St. James, but that the plan did
not succeed. I never saw Mr. Devine's denial--perhaps it fell into the
clutches of a ruthless pan-Serbian printer. Naturally, Mr. Devine would
not care to be the diplomatic representative of a villain; therefore,
when he is brought face to face with certain definite charges he
persists in replying "not in detail, but from the broad point of view."
He is so exceedingly broad that when an accusation is levelled against
the King he sees in this an accusation against the entire country--a
country which unfortunately, as he says, "alone of all the Allies has no
diplomatic representative in this country." Mr. Devine continues
unabashed to repeat and repeat his pro-Nikita stuff in various
newspapers. "Il y debvroit avoir," says Montaigne, "quelque corection
des loix contre les escrivains ineptes et inutiles, comme il y a contre
les vagabonds et fainéants...." Not long ago I happened to see that this
egregious person described himself as "Hon. Minister Plenipotentiary for
Montenegro," but another gentleman, Sir Roper Parkington, a pompous
wine-merchant, announced in the Press that he had become "Minister
(Hon.) of Montenegro." Perhaps one of them has resigned, and our poor
overworked Foreign Office will not be invited to decide between a
Minister (Hon.) and an Hon. Minister.


The Italians' stay at Kotor was drawing to an end. "We have no
aggressive intentions," said Signor Scialoja, the Foreign Minister, "and
we shall be glad if we are able to establish with our neighbours on the
other side of the Adriatic those amicable relations"--and so forth and
so forth. This he said on December 21, but if the Government was imbued
with the same principles in August it is unfortunate that it omitted to
instruct the responsible officers in Dalmatia. The Yugoslav commander,
Lieut.-Colonel Ristić, heard one night that the Italian General at
Dobrota was harbouring at his residence no less than twenty-one
Montenegrin pro-Nikita komitadjis. They were clad in Italian uniforms,
and, as a torpedo-boat and a motor-launch were always kept with steam
up, could be shipped off at a moment's notice to Italy. Colonel
Ristić sent his adjutant to make inquiries, and the Italians gave
their word of honour that no Montenegrins were in the house. In order to
avoid a conflict Colonel Ristić then requested the French General to
send an officer; but this gentleman was not received by the Italians.
Four or five Montenegrins, with an Italian lieutenant, came out of the
house and fired at the twenty gendarmes who now encircled it. The fire
was returned--all the Montenegrins and the Italian were killed. After
this the French police disarmed the remaining Montenegrins and
imprisoned them; and on the following day, much to his chagrin, the
Italian General was told to take up other quarters at Mula, so that he
was separated by the French and the Yugoslavs from Montenegrin
territory.... Not long after this a certain Captain Miletić was
cycling late one afternoon on the road to Mula. Five or six Italian
soldiers lay concealed, and so expertly did they murder him that his
friends who were cycling a hundred paces ahead and other friends who
were fishing very near the spot in a boat heard nothing whatsoever. It
was eight days after this when the Italians had to go from Kotor and the


The question of Rieka had not yet been settled. The more suave Tittoni,
who had succeeded Sonnino, was hoping with the help of France to hold
his own against Wilson. Monsieur Tardieu thought that the town with a
large strip of hinterland should become a separate independent State
under the League of Nations. An arrangement was also proposed by which
the city was to be administered by Italy, while the Yugoslavs should
have a guarantee of access to the sea. These negotiations were still in
a nebulous state, but certain proposals were going to be put into force
which were suggested by the Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry. With
French, American, Italian and British representatives this commission
had visited Rieka. One of the recommendations was to the effect that
public order should be maintained by British and American police; on the
very day (September 12) that the British military police were to
inaugurate their service, Gabriele d'Annunzio took matters into his own
hands. He rose, he tells us, from a bed of fever and, refusing to
recognize the Nitti Government, he marched with the appropriate
theatrical ceremonies, into his "pearl of the Adriatic." What he called
the 15th Italian victory, or, alternatively, the _Santa Entrata_--the
Holy Entry--was accomplished without the shedding of a drop of blood.
Rieka, the stage of many fantastic scenes, witnessed one of the
quaintest in the simultaneous arrival at the Governor's palace of a
General to whom the Allies had entrusted the command of the town and a
rebel Lieut.-Colonel who refused to recognize his authority. They seemed
to be on the best of terms. The General (Pittaluga) informed the Allies
that he was still in supreme command. Being invited on the following
morning to explain the situation at a conference on board the U.S.S.
_Pittsburg_, at which were present the Allied naval and military
commanders, General Pittaluga informed them that he would be responsible
for the maintenance of order and that nothing was to be considered
altered in the government of the town. Forty minutes later, without
consulting the Allies, he had handed over the town to a rebel and he
himself, in his private car, had vanished. In a subsequent message to
the Turkish Minister in Berne, sympathizing for the Allied occupation of
Constantinople, d'Annunzio's Foreign Department informed him that "the
Legionaries of the Commandant d'Annunzio put to flight the English
police-bullies who were biding their time to snatch the tortured city."
Opinions vary as to whether the poet-pirate was at that time acting in
collusion with Rome--his defiance and their thunders being included in
the stage directions--or whether he was a real rebel. We may assume that
Signor Nitti did not countenance the buccaneer and that if officers and
civil servants diverted Government cargoes into his hands they were not
acting as Government agents. As for large numbers of these officials,
their secret understanding with d'Annunzio received many proofs. On
September 29 the _Era Nuova_ reported that, two days before, Major
Reina, d'Annunzio's Chief of Staff, was invited to Abbazia, where he had
an interview with the Chief of Staff of the 26th Corps. Illuminating
also is the report, in the _Era Nuova_ of October 27, of a test case at
Genoa, when a sergeant was tried for leaving his regiment and going to
Rieka. The prosecutor demanded four months' detention and degradation.
The court accepted the plea of the defence, which was that the court
could not condemn or dishonour a soldier who was only guilty of
patriotic sentiment. Moreover, it transpired that those who returned
from Rieka, after receiving there a salary from both parties, were
granted three weeks' leave and a reward of 100 lire. One observed that
when the S.S. _Danubio_ left Šibenik for Rieka with sixty
waggon-loads of coal, the captain received his sailing orders from the
Royal Italian port-officer. When d'Annunzio seized Rieka there was on
that same night a solemn demonstration at Zadar, led by Vice-Admiral
Millo, who was supposed to be governing Dalmatia in the name of the

       *       *       *       *       *

The Consiglio Nazionale Italiano of Rieka, that self-elected body which
had so often told the world that Rieka was unshakeably determined to be
joined to the Motherland, now took to its bosom the modern Rienzi,
regardless of that which happened to the mediæval one. The C.N.I. could
now devote itself to serious executive work, for d'Annunzio--in spite of
or because of his fever--relieved them of the rather exhausting task of
issuing proclamations. In three months he sent out something like a
thousand. He did a great many other things--he ruined, for instance, the
economic life of the town. Everything had for a time gone swimmingly.
The Chief of the Republic of San Marino was voicing the sentiments of
numberless Italians when he saluted the poet as a great Italian patriot.
Such was the feeling of the majority of the army and navy, so that the
Government in Rome was made to look ridiculous. "Mark well what I am
telling you," said the poet to the special correspondent of the
_Gazzetta del Popolo_. "I have received a call from a superior hidden
force, and though the fever burns within me I am consoled, because the
War has made me a mystic and I feel I am inspired from on high in this
mission." D'Annunzio and his cohorts refused to have anything to do with
the Cabinet. Signor Nitti, supported by the Parliament and the more
responsible people, was openly attacked by the Nationalists and secretly
by the profiteers and the newly rich on account of his bold taxation
programme, by which he hoped to bring 30 milliards of francs into the
Exchequer. The Nationalists assisted d'Annunzio to win over the army;
and in northern Italy there were many who realized that an army which
can be moved by such an appeal can, on the next day, rally to
Bolševism. No other troops remained in Rieka, the small French and
British detachments having been withdrawn. Before this happened there
occurred a repetition, on a larger scale than usual, of a few French
soldiers being attacked by a body of Italian warriors who greatly
outnumbered them. Some of the French were Annamites, than whom no more
harmless persons can be imagined.[44] And it was in order to avoid such
untoward incidents that the Franco-British troops were evacuated.
D'Annunzio was left to do his worst. Rieka was one of the problems which
the Peace Conference had failed to solve, and now they were in much the
same inglorious position as the Great Powers who in 1913 warned Turkey
not to mobilize, since they would not allow the Balkan Confederation to
make an attack, and after the attack gave it out that the Balkan States
would not be permitted to acquire any new territory. The Supreme Council
in Paris was losing its prestige very rapidly. "A little patience,"
begged Tittoni, "and my Government will turn out d'Annunzio." "What we
want," exclaimed Clemenceau, "is a Government in Italy!"--and the
Italian delegates, with flushed faces, pointed out that it was not Italy
which wanted Rieka, but Rieka which wanted Italy. They would do their
best, although so many men in Italy were now convinced that Rieka would
sooner die than give up d'Annunzio. Presently, under his
administration, it began to die. But this was not altogether distasteful
to certain intriguers who were interested in the future of Triest. There
might also arise, to the satisfaction, of other intriguers, an armed
conflict with the Yugoslavs. But nothing could be calmer than the
Yugoslavs' attitude. Perhaps these barbarians--as they are often styled
in Italy--were confident that justice would prevail. Perhaps they
thought that they could bide their time, and certainly what happened at
Trogir was not calculated to reassure the Italians.


The little, ancient town of Trogir lay some twelve miles to the south of
the demarcation line. Its inhabitants, with the exception of five
Italophil families, are Yugoslav; and in the month of September 1919 the
Yugoslav army was represented by eight men. Truth compels us to mention
that on a certain night these men, instead of doing patrol duty, were
sleeping off the effects of a carouse; and when the townsfolk looked out
of their windows in the morning they saw machine guns and Italian
soldiers. At 4 a.m. they had crept into the town with the help of a
certain Conte Nino di Fanfogna, who had assembled a National Guard of
thirty peasants, the employees of those five families. Conte Nino was
striding to and fro; he muttered threats of death. Some of the chief
men, such as Dr. Marin Katalinić, Dr. Peter Sentinella and others,
came together and were at a loss for some effective means to chase out
the Italians, since they had not even a revolver. An American boat
appeared, but the captain, when appealed to, said that he was only
cruising and could not come ashore. In the town hall Count Nino,
labouring under some excitement, dismissed the mayor; and when Ferri,
the mayor, told him to go about his business, he protested that he was
the dictator and would, if necessary, use force. Outside in the square
the Italians and the people stood face to face, and suddenly a few
Yugoslav flags were fluttering, and then an old man, Dr. Sentinella's
father, climbed up to the place in the town hall where the Italian flag
had been hoisted. He tore it down. The soldiers were for shooting him,
but the people began pulling the rifles out of their hands. Other
soldiers, full of apprehension, dropped their rifles; the people picked
them up, and those who were unacquainted with the mechanism cried out
certain awe-inspiring sounds. Women and children--I fear this will not
be believed; it is none the less true--women and children removed some
of the men's helmets, and one group of children turned a helmet into a
football. "I am a father of a family!" cried a soldier. "I am innocent,
I have been deceived!" cried another. "O, Mama mia!" cried a third. They
wept, they bolted into the courtyards, and the women showed them little
mercy, for they tore off the men's belts and even struck them with their
fists. A Mrs. Sunjara routed four men and went home with their machine
gun on her back. In a few minutes the square was free of soldiers, and
forty rifles were stacked in the town hall. Fifty soldiers on the quay
were dealt with by a butcher who started firing at them; when they heard
the shouts of the approaching crowd they threw down their weapons and
fled. Two large motors escaped; the third was intercepted at the bridge,
and although young Sentinella, who ordered them to stop, had forgotten
his own rifle, they all--thirteen men and two officers--threw theirs
away. It was suggested that the running soldiers should be pursued.
"No," said an old man, "for we would kill them all. Let them rather go
back without arms or helmets. It will frighten the others." ... Two
hours later a party of Serbian soldiers arrived, but they were not
needed, save for the protection of those who had thrown in their lot
with the Italians. From Split, a few miles away, 1500 volunteers, who
speedily assembled, came with knives or agricultural implements or any
other weapon. "The Yugoslavs must realize," said Nitti, "that it is to
their interest to maintain sincere relations of friendship with Italy."


The Yugoslav Government--as if it had not sufficient problems to
solve--was ordered now by the Peace Conference to accept sundry
regulations as to the rights of minorities, the transit of goods, and an
equitable régime for international commerce. The other States which had
inherited the Habsburg Empire were, all of them, faced with the same
demands; and they objected that to sign such Articles was inconsistent
with their sovereignty. The most onerous item--relating to the racial
and religious minorities--had been imposed--at America's instance, owing
to the manner in which the Jews were treated in Roumania, despite King
Charles' promises in 1878. The Yugoslavs, with a far smaller number of
Jews and no Jewish outcry, were concerned only for the principle of
independence. Not having persecuted the Jews they resented having to
undertake that for the future they would act in a liberal spirit. "I
will have nothing to do with tolerance," said the Orthodox Bishop of
Veršac to a deputation of Jews, when he made his formal entry into
the town of Pančevo. And when they stared at him, "It is not
tolerance that I will show," said he, "but love." Perhaps the Opposition
in the Yugoslav Skupština might have exhibited more kindliness in its
attitude towards the Government and have refrained from rousing a storm
against the signature of the obnoxious Articles. The Government and the
Opposition being practically of equal strength, the Ministers, who in a
calm atmosphere could have explained the realities of the situation,
found themselves at a grave disadvantage. They could have shown that
they would be assuming obligations which they had assumed already. In
Macedonia, as any traveller could see, the time-honoured custom of
persecuting him who happened to be the under-dog was abandoned; the
authorities preferred to ignore the religious difference between
themselves and the Bulgarian party, and as the difference consisted in
praying for the Exarch instead of the Patriarch in the liturgy there was
not the slightest persecution needed to persuade the Exarchists to
become Patriarchists. Many who had been unaware of this new spirit which
informed Yugoslavia and had fled with the Bulgarian army, afterwards
came back to Macedonia. Nor did the Moslems complain: two Bosnian
Moslems were expressly included in the Cabinet, and every consideration
was shown to them--at Ghevgeli, for instance, where building material
was, after the War, so scarce that many of the inhabitants had nothing
but a hole in the ground, the prefect caused the two mosques which had
been destroyed by shell-fire to be reconstructed.


If the Serbs were to express their grievance against the Roumanian
ruling class for having landed them in this position, the Roumanians
would reply that the Serbs do not run the same risk as themselves of
being swamped by the undesirable Galician Jew. The Roumanians argue that
their peasants will go under if they are not shielded. "In our last
great manœuvres," said the late King Charles to M. de Laveleye,[45]
"it was proposed to entrust the supply of food to Christians. On the
first day the provisions came; on the second everything was late; on the
third day the whole army was dying of hunger. I was forced to make a
hasty appeal to the Jews. They have great qualities--they are
intelligent, energetic, economical; but these very qualities make them
dangerous to us on economic grounds." Roumanians acknowledge that the
agrarian policy of a few vast landowners and a submerged peasantry did
not admit of peasants being made more formidable by increased education,
and they doubt whether their country-folk, so fond of music and dancing
and drinking, have it in them to rival those Serbian non-commissioned
officers who, early in 1919, became millionaires by skilful operations
on the money market in the Banat. Yet the Serbs are as much addicted as
anyone to the aforementioned delights, and it is probable that the
Roumanian boyars do their own people an injustice. But while the people
were favoured at the expense of the immigrants--not always very
effectively: the Jews have been prohibited from owning land, yet a fifth
of the whole of Moldavia belongs indirectly to a single Jew--one would
suppose that some distinction might have been made between the more or
less pernicious alien who is apt to get the village into his toils and
that other Jew whose family has lived perhaps two hundred years in the
country, who feels himself a Roumanian but is legally a foreigner. One
Magder, a Jewish barrister, performed such exploits at the front during
the Great War that he was mentioned in the communiqué, a distinction
only conferred upon two other soldiers. For one and a half years the
official publications insisted on Roumanizing his name into Magdeu,
after which three Cabinet meetings occupied themselves with the subject
and finally announced that the error was not intentional but
typographical. A French officer wished the Roumanian Croix de Guerre to
be given to him, but Headquarters refused the request on the ground that
he was a Jew. One cannot blame the United States for taking the
initiative in compelling the Roumanians to modify their legislation,
since the clauses of the Treaty of Berlin were merely carried out to the
extent of naturalizing a maximum of fifty Jews a year, each case having
to undergo innumerable formalities, accompanied with payments to
deputies and others that rose to 30,000 francs. Many Jews volunteered
for the army in 1913 for the sake of thus obtaining the naturalization
that was promised them as a reward; but these promises were frequently
not kept. A good deal of injustice occurred during the Great War: the
_Moniteur Officiel_, No. 261 (of February 2, 1918), printed a decree
relating to one Kaufman, who together with two Christian soldiers had
been away from his corps for twelve days in the previous September.
Kaufman was condemned to death, and the others to five years' hard
labour. When the King was asked to deal more equitably with the three
men, Kaufman's sentence was commuted to "hard labour without limit,"
_i.e._ for life. It is superfluous to give many illustrations: at
Falticeni seventy-two Jews were imprisoned without a trial for four
months, though twelve of them were Roumanian citizens and veterans of
1877, while most of the others had sons at the front; at the village of
Frumusica a major caused the Jews to come out of their synagogue in
order to listen to a speech in which he advised the Christian soldiers
to watch them well, as they were worse than the Germans. No doubt there
were Jews in the Roumanian army whose patriotism was less than
ardent--and who can blame them? In the 69th Regiment a special corps of
Jews was clothed in the discarded, dark uniform that was more visible to
the enemy. In the 65th Regiment Jon Dumitru was paid 14 francs a month
for spying on his Jewish comrades. At the battle of Savarat, to cover
the retreat of three battalions, a special corps of Jews was formed--one
hundred and twenty-two men under a Jewish second lieutenant; all but
three of them were killed or wounded. After this retreat the General,
who lost his head, commanded that the survivors should be killed
wholesale on account of self-inflicted wounds; but seeing that they were
so numerous (and innocent) he pardoned them, and only executed two Jews,
Lubis Strul and Hascal Simha, _pour encourager les autres_. A young
doctor, 2nd Lieutenant Cohn, who came back from Paris, contracted typhus
at the hospital where he was serving; afterwards he was sent to the 26th
Regiment and kept under observation; it was most suspicious, said the
authorities, that a Jew should return from France for his military
service. A reward of 2000 francs was offered to anyone who could supply
incriminating evidence against the doctor, but this was offered in vain.
The Jews, by the way, were told that while they would be removed from
menial positions in the hospitals they "would be tolerated" as
doctors--and nearly a hundred of these doctors died on active service.

The better class of Roumanians, such as Take Jonescu, is opposed to such
methods--he was therefore charged with being in the pay of the Jews,
although he was a wealthy man (a very successful barrister) whom
politics made poorer. It remains to be seen whether the
Roumanians--whose position with regard to the Jews is, partly through
their own fault, not without peril--will be willing to put into effect
those reforms to which the Supreme Council compelled them to subscribe.
The Article in question will probably become a moral weapon, since the
Roumanians regard themselves as on a higher level than the Balkan
peoples, and will not desire that continual complaints should be made
against them. One does not expect their prejudices and their
apprehensions to be suddenly renounced--instead of judging each case
individually, the railway administration, after the Government had
agreed that the Jews _en bloc_ could become citizens, barred them _en
bloc_ from that particular service by requiring that candidates should
present their certificates of baptism. The Agricultural Syndicates have
also introduced a statute which limits their organizations to Roumanian
citizens who profess the Christian religion. Gradually--one hopes, for
the sake of their country--the Roumanians will bring themselves to adopt
a less timorous spirit, and to acknowledge that it is more dangerous to
the Fatherland if a Jew as such is prevented than if he is permitted to
hold the office of street-sweeper. From such lowly public offices, or
from that of University Professor, no citizen should be excluded on
religious grounds or admitted to them "by exceptional concession." And
if a Jewish cab-driver at Bucharest is so severely flogged by his
passengers outside the chief railway-station that he succumbs in the
hospital to his injuries--a fate that overtook one Mendel Blumenthal, a
man fifty-three years of age, in September 1919--one trusts that a
newspaper article asking for an inquiry will henceforward not be
censored. "It is true," said Dr. Vaida-Voevod, then the Prime Minister,
"that the Jews still evince some reluctance to assimilate intellectually
with our people or to identify their interests with those of the
Roumanian State. But goodwill should be shown on both sides, and the
overtures should be reciprocal." Thanks very largely to the former
Liberal Premier, M. Bratiano, whose party was responsible for much
illiberal legislation--one of his powerful brothers was popularly said
to eat a Jew at every meal--the Supreme Council acted in such a manner
as to produce a particularly unwanted crisis in the Yugoslav political
world. Neither Roumanian nor Yugoslav need, in the opinion of Take
Jonescu, have considered that their dignity was being slighted, for the
tendency of the League of Nations is to limit the free will of each of
them. The cardinal doctrine of the League, as Lord Robert Cecil has
pointed out, is that its members are _not_ masters in their own house,
but must obey the decision of the majority. However, the Opposition in
the Belgrade Skupština could not resist from using the delicate
situation for what many of the deputies thought was a patriotic course
of conduct, and nearly all of them regarded as an admirable party cry.


    [Footnote 1: _The Defeat of Austria, as seen by the 7th
    Division._ London, 1919.]

    [Footnote 2: _Contemporary Review_, February 1920.]

    [Footnote 3: Afterwards Yugoslav Minister at Madrid and then at

    [Footnote 4: _Fortnightly Review_, June 1919.]

    [Footnote 5: Cf. _Manchester Guardian_, December 13, 1918.]

    [Footnote 6: _Land and Water_, May 29, 1919.]

    [Footnote 7: _Nineteenth Century and After_, November 1920.]

    [Footnote 8: _Au Secours des Enfants Serbes._ Paris, 1916.]

    [Footnote 9: Several old wooden warships, such as the _Aurora_,
    the _Schwartzenberg_ and the _Vulcan_, were lying for years in
    Šibenik harbour, where they were used as repair-ships,
    store-ships, etc. When the Italians evacuated Dalmatia they
    took these vessels with them, but whether on account of their
    contents or their history we do not know.]

    [Footnote 10: Cf. _Die Handelsstrassen und Bergwerke von
    Serbien und Bosnien wahrend des Mittelalters_, by Dr.
    Constantin Jireček. Prague, 1879.]

    [Footnote 11: It is instructive to examine the attendance
    figures at the schools of this the only Italian town of
    Dalmatia, as the Italians call it. The figures are those of the
    school year 1918-1919, and refer both to elementary and
    secondary schools:

                      YUGOSLAV SCHOOLS.

    Elementary School for Boys              Pupils, 342
    Elementary School for Girls               "     331
    Combined Elementary School                "     222
    Higher Elementary School for Girls        "     121
    Teachers' Training College                "      70
    Classical College                         "     469
                         Total of Yugoslav Pupils, 1555

                      ITALIAN SCHOOLS.

    Elementary School for Boys              Pupils, 250
    Elementary School for Girls               "     221
    Higher Elementary School                  "      93
    Classical College                         "     157
    Technical College                         "     181
                           Total of Italian Pupils, 902

    I do not know what were the facts ascertained on the spot by
    Mr. Hilaire Belloc which enabled him, without any reservations,
    to inform the readers of _Land and Water_ (June 5, 1919) that
    "Zara is quite Italian." He added that "Sebenia is Italian
    too." If this be so, how comes it that in 1919 the Italian
    authorities found it necessary to terrorize Sebenico
    (Šibenik)--which is presumably the town Mr. Belloc refers
    to--with machine guns and hordes of secret police and the very
    lurid threats of Colonel Cappone, the town commandant? I
    believe it is nearer the truth to say that the population of
    this town consists of some 13,000 Yugoslavs and 400

    [Footnote 12: This prelate died in December 1920. With fearless
    patriotism, said the _Tablet_ (January 1, 1921), he "had
    defended his flock from the Germanizing influence of the
    Habsburgs and the more insidious encroachments of the

    [Footnote 13: The population of Veprinac, according to the last
    census, is: Yugoslavs, 2505 (83·7 per cent.); Italians, 24 (0·8
    per cent.); Germans, 422 (4·1 per cent.).]

    [Footnote 14: Pribičević issued a statement to the effect
    that the interviewer, Magrini, had put into his mouth the
    precise opposite of what he had said with regard to Triest and
    Pola. Pribičević had told him that the whole of Istria,
    with Triest, should be Yugoslav. He reminded Magrini that a
    third person was present at the interview.]

    [Footnote 15: The supplies for the Austro-Hungarian army in
    Albania had been concentrated at Rieka. These had to be guarded
    by Yugoslav troops, as the Hungarian watchmen at the port had
    disappeared, and the Russian prisoners employed there--about
    500 men--had also vanished. In order to keep off nocturnal
    plunderers, the Yugoslav troops were told to fire a few shots
    now and then into the air. Is it not possible that the two
    Italian boys who, as Mr. Beaumont reported, were hit during the
    night by stray bullets and succumbed in hospital to their
    injuries--is it not possible that they were out for plunder and
    that this incident should not be used to illustrate what Mr.
    Beaumont (of the _Daily Telegraph_) calls "the worst
    characteristics of Balkan terrorism" on the part of the troops?
    During the twenty days of the Yugoslav régime their authorities
    sold, as they were justified in doing, tobacco from these
    warehouses to the value of 120,000 crowns. It was generally
    said in Rieka that the Italians in four days had given away six
    million crowns' worth, that large quantities of flour were
    removed until the British put a stop to this, and that the
    robberies were flagrant. These allegations may have been untrue
    or exaggerated, but individuals were pointed out who in a
    mysterious manner had suddenly become affluent; it would at any
    rate have been as well if the I.N.C. had ordered some
    investigation. Since they failed to do so, it is natural that
    gossip flourished. In Triest, by the way, even the Italian
    population is reputed to have been disgusted when about forty
    waggon-loads of flour and twenty of sugar were taken from the
    stores of the former Austrian army and shipped to Italy.]

    [Footnote 16: Most people have assumed that this was done in
    order that Rieka should be left to Austria-Hungary, although
    they should have taken with some grains of salt this Italian
    generosity which presented the Habsburgs with a good harbour
    instead of one of those others in Croatia which the Italians of
    to-day are never weary of extolling. The real reasons why Rieka
    was omitted from the Treaty of London are, as the _Secolo_
    (January 12, 1919) remarks, perfectly well known. "In order,"
    it says, "to claim Fiume it is necessary to make appeal to the
    right of the people to dispose freely of themselves. In this
    case the same principle must be admitted for the people of
    Dalmatia, who are Slav in a crushing majority. But this is
    precisely the negation of the Treaty of London."]

    [Footnote 17: The Italianist employés of the Rieka town council
    who took the census in 1910 asked the humbler classes if they
    were acquainted with the Italian language; those from whom they
    received an affirmative reply were put down as Italians. Had
    they, on the other hand, asked the people if they spoke
    Croatian and put down as Croats those who answered yes, there
    would, in the opinion of an expert, Dr. Arthur Gavazzi, have
    remained not one single Italian--certainly not the members of
    the Italian National Council--as everyone, he says, speaks and
    knows Croat. This is a fairly emphatic proof that the fortunes
    of Rieka are bound up with those of its suburbs and the

    [Footnote 18: Being the senior in rank of the Allied Generals,
    General Grazioli claimed supreme command of all the Allied
    troops, but this the French General refused, maintaining--much
    to the disgust of the Italians--that he was under the orders of
    Franchet d'Espérey, who was then in command of the Army of the
    Orient. The Italians were so determined to preserve in their
    own hands the military supremacy that a very senior General,
    one Caneva, was kept in the background of the palace with the
    sole object of stepping forward if any Allied officer senior to
    General Grazioli should by chance be posted to the town. The
    disrespectful Allies used to call Caneva "the man in the

    [Footnote 19: The town of Yugoslavia which, after Austria's
    collapse, was stirred the most profoundly by its postage stamps
    was Zagreb. In order to commemorate the establishment of the
    new State the Croatian Post Office published four stamps, which
    were on sale on November 29. The whole edition consisted of
    100,000 stamps, of which 24,000 were allotted to Zagreb, the
    rest going to other parts of the province. It was obvious that
    there would be a great demand for these stamps, and in order to
    check any abuses or clandestine traffic it was decided that
    they should be sold nowhere but at the post offices, also that
    each purchaser would only be allowed to buy a limited quantity.
    At 8 a.m. the sale began, but at seven many hundreds of people
    were waiting outside the chief post office, the post office at
    the station and another in the Upper Town. The face value of
    the four stamps, added together, was one crown. At first they
    were resold for between 4 and 20 crowns, then the price jumped
    to 30, and by 10 a.m. the 45-heller stamp (of which only 15,000
    had been printed) was sold out. Collectors were paying 8 or 10
    crowns for it, in order to complete their sets. At noon the
    offices were all shut, as the rush was considered too
    dangerous. More than 1000 persons were in the great hall at the
    Head Office and another 2000 were gathered outside. Nearly all
    the windows where the stamps were being sold were broken. At
    the Station Post Office the people began to fight with the
    sentries. The National Guard had to be sent for. At 4 p.m. the
    post offices had no stamps left (and citizens who had been
    waiting all day to buy an ordinary stamp could not be served).
    At 5 p.m. people who for the first time in their lives were
    taking an interest in philately, wanted 300-500 crowns from
    collectors for a whole series. Between 5 and 6 p.m. a stamp
    exchange was held in the entrance hall. Eight hundred to one
    thousand crowns were being demanded for the series. Soldiers
    were willing to give the four stamps in exchange for a pair of
    boots, others were asking for sugar, coffee or petrol. The
    price which was ultimately established was 250 crowns.]

    [Footnote 20: Out of the hundreds of available documents it
    will suffice if I print one. It is the report, given in his
    words, of a Dalmatian, a native of Sinj, who having been an
    emigrant could write in English. "On July 1915 I came to the
    Italian front, and on the morrow I went across the lines and
    deserted to the Italians. As soon as I arrived at the station
    of internment I requested the Command to be admitted as a
    voluntary into the Serbian army. This petition of mine was
    answered by Italian authorities in the negative. After the
    Congress of Rome in 1918 I and some of my comrades who had
    recently applied for admission were permitted to join the
    Yugoslav legion on June 1. I was right away sent to the front
    of the Tyrol, where on August 7 I was wounded in a hard bayonet
    fight. On this occasion I was decorated by the Italian
    Commander for valour. After 45 days of hospital by my own
    request I was sent to the front, where I remained up to the
    break-up of Austria or until we Yugoslav legion were disarmed
    by Italians and as a reward for our participation in the war we
    were interned as prisoners of war at Casale di Altamura in the
    province of Bari. Four days after my internment I succeeded in
    sliding away, so that on the Christmas Eve I was again in
    Dalmatia. (Signed) JAKOV DELONGA."]

    [Footnote 21:

        "In tra 'l gregge che misero e raro
         L'asburgese predon t' ha lasciato,
         Perche piangi, o fratello croato,
         Il figiul che in Italia mori."

    ("There among the woebegone where the most contemptible
    Habsburger has abandoned his prey, so that, O my Croat brother,
    it weeps for the dear son who died in Italy.")]

    [Footnote 22: April 23, 1919.]

    [Footnote 23: Cf. _La Slavisation de la Dalmatie._ Paris,

    [Footnote 24: The Italians are very poorly served by some of
    their advocates. For years they persisted in demanding the
    execution of whatever in the Treaty or Pact of London was
    obnoxious to the Serbs, while they regarded as obsolete another
    clause, respecting the formation of a small independent
    Albania, which was distasteful to themselves, and--if I rightly
    understand the Italophil Mr. H. E. Goad--they were justified
    because, forsooth, Bulgaria had entered the War on the other
    side. To say that the idea of this small Albania, with
    corresponding compensations to the Serbs and Greeks, was held
    out as a bribe to the Bulgars does not seem to me a very wise
    remark. However, "ne croyez pas le père Bonnet," said
    Montesquieu, "lorsqu'il dit du mal de moi, ni moi-même lorsque
    je dis du mal du père Bonnet, parce que nous nous sommes
    brouillés." Let the reader trust in nothing but the facts, and
    I hope that those which I present are not an unfair selection.]

    [Footnote 25: When Supilo, the late Dalmatian leader, heard
    about the secret Treaty, he went to Petrograd and saw Sazonov.
    The interview is said to have been stormy, for the Russian
    Minister, according to the _Primorske Novine_ (April 23, 1919),
    "had not the most elementary knowledge of the Slav nature of
    Dalmatia, still less of Istria, Triest, Gorica and the rest."
    Mr. Asquith, whom Supilo afterwards visited in London, is said
    to have been no better informed than Sazonov.]

    [Footnote 26: And appearing subsequently in London, as Nikita's
    Prime Minister, was the central figure of a reception given by
    Lord Sydenham at the Savoy. But out of fairness to his lordship
    I must add that in an hour's conversation he impressed me with
    the fact that he was even less acquainted with Plamenac's
    antecedents than he was with other Montenegrin affairs, which
    he raised on more than one occasion in the House of Lords,
    endeavouring there--until Lord Curzon overwhelmed him--to play
    the part that was assumed by Mr. M'Neill in the Commons.]

    [Footnote 27: We shall see that the subsequent history of this
    officer was less laudable.]

    [Footnote 28: Cf. _Nineteenth Century and After_, January

    [Footnote 29: This very able priest became Vice-President of
    the Council of Ministers when the first Yugoslav Cabinet was
    formed. When Cardinal Bourne visited Belgrade in the spring of
    1919 a Mass was celebrated by the Yugoslav Cabinet Minister,
    the British Cardinal and a French priest who was an aviation
    captain in the army. Monsignor Korošec's position reminds
    one that in the early days of Bulgaria's freedom her Premier
    was the Archbishop of Trnovo.]

    [Footnote 30: Cf. p. 60, Vol. II.]

    [Footnote 31: Cf. _The New Europe_, March 27, 1919.]

    [Footnote 32: There are in the Banat some ultra-patriotic
    Magyars, such as the man at Antanfalva (Kovačiča) who,
    having lost something between his house and the post office,
    insisted on advertising for it in the Buda-Pest papers. But the
    Yugoslav rule was so satisfactory that, two or three years
    after the Armistice, I found in the large Hungarian village of
    Debelyacsa--where the _intelligentsia_ called the sympathetic
    Serbian notary by his Christian name--not one of the
    inhabitants proposed to remove to Hungary. No doubt the
    goodness of the soil had something to do with this decision,
    but, more, the liberal methods of the Serbs. No military
    service was as yet exacted--all that the Magyars had been asked
    to do was to work for two months in obliterating the ravages of
    war. The priest and the schoolmaster who had come from Hungary
    before the War still exercised their functions, and--in
    contrast with what had previously been the case--both the
    Magyar and the Serbian language were taught, the latter from
    the third class upwards. Altogether there was perfect harmony
    between the Magyars and the Serbs; when I was there the only
    racial question which occupied the Magyar farmers was the
    resolve of their _intelligentsia_ to have, as centre-half in
    the football team, not a Magyar but a more skilful Jewish

    [Footnote 33: The Southern Slavs generally acknowledged that
    the Foreign Office was bound to behave to Italy, one of the
    Great Powers, with a certain deference. They also recognize
    that the Foreign Office is not actuated by malevolence if she
    treats Belgrade as she did Morocco, when in place of the
    strikingly appropriate and picturesque appointment of Sir
    Richard Burton our Legation there was occupied by one of a
    series of diplomatic automata. After all, these automata, who
    have spent more or less laborious years in the service, have to
    be deposited somewhere. But if one does not demand of the
    Foreign Office that she should make a rule of sending to the
    Balkans, where the personal factor is so important, such a man
    as the brilliant O'Beirne, who during the War was dispatched
    too late to Bulgaria, yet a moderate level should be
    maintained--it has happened before now that we have been
    represented in a Balkan country by a Minister who, some time
    after his arrival, had not read a Treaty dealing with those
    people and of which Great Britain was one of the high
    contracting parties; when taxed with this omission the
    aforesaid Minister hung his head like a guilty schoolboy.]

    [Footnote 34: October 13, 1921.]

    [Footnote 35: This has been done, but to a much more limited
    extent, in Hungary where several hundred men who distinguished
    themselves in the European War have been granted the Gold Medal
    for Bravery, which entitles each of them to a goodly portion of
    land. This the recipient may not sell, but he need not leave it
    to his eldest son if a younger one is more interested in
    agriculture. Each medallist, by the way, is authorized to
    exhibit outside his house a notice which informs the world that
    he possesses this most treasured decoration; but perhaps to our
    eyes the strangest privilege the Medal carries with it is the
    permission to write "Vitez" (which is the Hungarian for
    "brave") in front of the name. Thus if Koranji Sandor is
    decorated he is to call himself henceforward Vitez Koranji
    Sandor, and that is the correct address on an envelope. Not
    only is the honorific awarded to him, but is to be used by all
    his sons and by their sons. We might imagine that a man would
    shrink from permanently calling himself Brave John Smith,
    especially if he has been very brave, but the average Magyar
    will not feel excessively awkward, since he is not altogether
    repelled by that which is garish.]

    [Footnote 36: The Czechs believe that Agrarian Reform should be
    the work of a generation. They are beginning on the very large
    estates, those which run to more than 50,000 hectares, and in
    calculating the price to be paid, 40 per cent. is deducted for
    the State on properties of this size. On those of between
    20,000 and 50,000 hectares 30 per cent. is deducted, and so on
    down to the 5 per cent., which is appropriated from the
    holdings of from 1000 to 2000 hectares. It is also the
    Government's intention in Czecho-Slovakia to take in hand such
    properties as are badly administered, and, by a wise proviso,
    when a denunciation arrives to the effect, for example, that
    the proprietor is not using manure and that thus the State is
    suffering injury, a dozen men, belonging to the various
    political parties, go down to investigate. If they find that
    the accusation is not justified and that the place is
    satisfactorily worked, then the man who made the charge is
    obliged to pay the examining committee's expenses.]

    [Footnote 37: The trouble arose at the end of May when a number
    of citizens of Šibenik, men and women, donned the American
    colours as a compliment to the sailors of the U.S. warship
    _Maddalena_, who had taken to wearing those of Yugoslavia. The
    Šibenik ladies and men, relying perhaps on the words of
    Admiral Millo with regard to Allied colours, never dreamed that
    any objection would be made. But suddenly one evening everybody
    with these colours was attacked by Italian soldiers, who tore
    them off and explained that it was done by the General's order.
    Italian officers did not interfere while ladies were being very
    roughly handled. A certain Jakovljević, a shopkeeper, who
    had sold an American flag, was imprisoned. On the same evening
    a number of prominent citizens were summoned before the town
    commandant, Colonel Cappone, who spoke as follows: "A Croat, a
    Croat has dared to display a flag before an ardito!" [An
    American flag.] "This fool! instead of giving him a black eye,
    the ardito pulled off his flag. This is Italy! Mind you don't
    go to the _Maddalena_ to-morrow! Whatever it costs me, I shall
    prevent it! You are the leaders who will be responsible for
    anything that happens to-morrow." [This was the eve of the
    Italian national celebration of June 1.] "Our arditi are
    blood-thirsty; do not be surprised if some lady of yours
    receives a black eye.... We are the masters here! This is
    Italy! This is Italy! We have won the War, we have spent
    milliards and sacrificed millions of soldiers." On this Mr.
    Miše Ivanović remarked: "I beg your pardon, but the Paris
    Conference has not yet decided the fate of these territories."
    And the Colonel replied, "It has been decided! But even if we
    had to leave, remember that on taking down our flag we shall
    destroy everything, with 5000 machine guns, 2000 guns and
    40,000 men! Good night, gentlemen." This declaration made by
    the town commandant, presumably a responsible officer, was
    testified by the signature of all those who were present....
    When, in 1921, the Italians were leaving Šibenik they
    destroyed a large number of young trees in the park and
    elsewhere. The Venetians, in the Middle Ages, had cut down
    millions of Dalmatian trees, but always with a utilitarian

    [Footnote 38: In view of what the census said with regard to
    this place it is superfluous to add that when an Italian
    officer in my hearing asked one who was stationed there if
    there was any social life, the other answered: "None at all;
    the whole population is Slav." I find that _Modern Italy_
    (published in London) quoted with approval the following
    telegram which appeared, it said, in the _Tempo_ of May 9: "A
    remarkably enthusiastic celebration took place at Obrovazzo.
    Several thousands, including representatives of the
    neighbouring villages, formed a procession and marched through
    the town. In the principal piazza, the President of the
    National party, Bertuzzi, delivered a stirring speech, which
    was enthusiastically applauded."]

    [Footnote 39: It is customary for Serbian officers to wear but
    one decoration, the highest among those to which they are
    entitled. To illustrate this Serbian modesty regarding
    honorifics, I might mention that one evening at the house of a
    Belgrade lawyer I heard his wife, a Scotswoman, to whom he had
    been married for more than a year, ascertain that he had won
    the Obilić medal for bravery and several other decorations
    which--and his case was typical--he had not troubled to

    [Footnote 40: June 24, 1919.]

    [Footnote 41: May 15, 1919.]

    [Footnote 42: Mr. Leiper in the _Morning Post_ (June 23, 1920)
    scouts the idea of these malcontents being the supporters of
    Nikita, who "were all laid by the heels or driven out of the
    country long ago--largely by the inhabitants themselves." He
    observes that the land is one land with Serbian soil--its
    frontiers are merely the artificial imposition of kings and
    policies. The nations, he points out, are not two but one--one
    in blood, in temperament, in habits, in tradition, in language;
    round the fireside they tell their children the same stories,
    sing them the same songs: the greatest poem in Serbian
    literature, as all the world knows, was written by a
    Prince-Bishop of Montenegro. Since the day when the Serbian
    State came into existence it has been, he says, the constant,
    burning desire of the Montenegrins to be joined to it. We may
    well rub our eyes at a letter in the same newspaper from Lord
    Sydenham, who makes the perfectly inane remark that this
    constant, burning desire was never probable. "Montenegro
    already _is_ Serbia," says Mr. Leiper, "and Serbia Montenegro,
    in every way except verbally." But Lord Sydenham has set
    himself up as a stern critic of the Serbs in Montenegro;
    therefore he cannot countenance the Leiper articles, which give
    him "pain and surprise." Is he surprised that Mr. Leiper, a
    shrewd Scottish traveller, who is acquainted with the language,
    should disagree with him? "The great mass of the people," says
    Mr. Leiper, "are as firm as a rock in their determination that
    Nicholas shall never return." Listen to Lord Sydenham: "I am
    afraid," says he, "that your correspondent has been misled by
    the raging, tearing Serbian propaganda with which I am
    familiar." And he quotes for our benefit an unnamed
    correspondent of his in Montenegro who says that the people
    there are terrified of speaking. It is much to be desired that
    a little of this terror might invade a gentleman who plunges
    headlong into matters which he does not understand.]

    [Footnote 43: Cf. _Morning Post_, November 17, 1920.]

    [Footnote 44: A most vivid account of this affair was
    contributed to the _Chicago Tribune_ (July 13, 1919) by its
    correspondent, Thomas Stewart Ryan, one of the two neutral
    eye-witnesses. He came to the conclusion that as Italy was an
    interested party and was exasperated by the long delay in the
    decision, an outbreak even more violent might occur unless her
    forces were brought down to the level of the other Allies. In
    alliance with the city rabble, the Giovani Fiumani, Italian
    soldiers attacked the French: "I can state emphatically," says
    Mr. Ryan, "that the French guards did nothing whatever to
    provoke the assault, some details of which would blot the
    escutcheon of most savage tribes. I saw soldiers of France
    killed, after surrender, by their supposed Allies.... I could
    scarcely believe my ears when Italian officers rapped out the
    order to load. But they seemed to remember that Frenchmen can
    fight." However, he also saw an Italian officer who "prevented
    this murder and held back the civilians who were trying to
    reach their victim. I must record it to the credit of this
    officer that his was the only Italian voice to defend the game
    little soldier. 'A hundred against one! Shame on you, soldiers
    of Italy!' I wish I knew this officer's name." At another part
    of the harbour, "A British naval officer, fearing that the
    wounded Frenchman would be stabbed inside the court to which he
    was dragged, followed the body and defied the captain of
    carabinieri, who ordered him to leave." And at the close "I was
    no longer alone with my friend as a neutral eye-witness. The
    British Admiral Sinclair appeared, causing much perturbation to
    the Italian officers, who though some of them had just taken
    part in the shambles, were already glib with excuses. 'The
    British Admiral wants to know' was enough to bring the Italian
    officer running and bowing, with 'I beg of you....' 'We are
    willing to explain all....' American naval officers of the
    destroyer _Talbot_ were also among this post-mortem crowd. In a
    French motor bearing two Italian officers who stood up to ward
    off possible shots, came a French captain. He was of that calm,
    splendid type that makes you think of the Chevalier Bayard, a
    knightly figure. Quietly he moved among his dead. Not by the
    flicker of an eyelid did he give token of what was working deep
    down in that French heart of his. I heard an Italian officer
    tell him that the French had started the most regrettable
    affair by firing on the Italian ships. The officer spoke this
    falsehood under the glazed stare of the French dead and the
    protesting gaze of the wounded. The French captain nodded his
    head, remarked, 'Oh yes! of course. Now we must only pick up
    the wounded,' and, with all the gentleness of a mother beside
    her child's sick-bed...." A very good account of this shocking
    episode is contained in _A Political Escapade: The Story of
    Fiume and d'Annunzio_, by J. N. Macdonald, O.S.B. (London,
    1921). His narrative is extremely well documented--he appears
    to have been a member of the British Mission. "It is
    incomprehensible," says he, "how officers and men could attack
    the very post that they had been sent to defend. Moreover, they
    were over 100 strong and fully armed, whereas the French
    garrison was small and had no intention of putting up a
    defence." One of the lesser outrages described by Father
    Macdonald, since it was not attended with fatal results, was
    that which happened to Captain Gaillard, who from his window
    saw an Italian lieutenant shoot and kill with his revolver an
    unarmed Annamese. The captain cried out with rage, and when his
    room was entered by fifteen men carrying rifles with fixed
    bayonets and they ordered him to go with them, Madame Gaillard
    tried to intervene and received a blow on the arm dealt with
    the butt end of a rifle. At this juncture an Italian officer
    appeared and roughly told Gaillard to come without further
    delay. A mob of civilians and soldiers who were outside greeted
    Gaillard with a shower of blows, and while they went along the
    street, the officer escorting him kept up a volley of abuse
    against France and England. Very fortunately for Gaillard he
    was brought into the presence of an Italian officer to whom he
    was personally known. This gentleman, looking very uneasy,
    refused to give the name of his brother-officer, but caused the
    Frenchman to be released.]

    [Footnote 45: Cf. _The Balkan Peninsula_ (English translation).
    London, 1887.]





When the Serbian army came, during the Balkan War, into the historic
town of Prilep a certain soldier sent his family an interesting letter,
which was found a few years afterwards at Niš and printed in a book.
One passage tells about a conversation as to a disputed point of
mediæval history between the soldier and a chance acquaintance.
"Brother," said the Serb, "whose is this town?" And the man of Prilep
recognized at once that his catechist was not referring to the actual
possessor but to Marko of the legendary exploits. When the same question
was asked of Gabriele d'Annunzio he said that Rieka was Italian then and
for ever, and that he who proclaimed its annexation to Italy was a
mutilated war-combatant. Most of the citizens, as time went on, began to
think that they would sooner hear about Rieka's annexation to another
land, which was the work of Nature. Those who did not entertain this
view were the salaried assistants of d'Annunzio and the speculators who
had bought up millions of crowns in the hope that Italy, as mistress of
Rieka, would change them into lire, even if she did not give so good a
rate as at Triest. The poet addressed himself to the France of Victor
Hugo, the England of Milton, and the America of Lincoln, but not to the
business men of Rieka, who would have told him that 70 per cent. of the
property, both movable and immovable, was Yugoslav, while 10 per cent.
was Italian and the rest in the hands of foreigners. Not waiting to
listen to such details, d'Annunzio sailed, with a thousand men, to
Zadar, had a conference with Admiral Millo, and won him over. Whether he
would have persuaded Victor Hugo, Milton or Abraham Lincoln, we must
gravely doubt. "I am not bound to win," says Lincoln, whom we may take
as the spokesman of the trio, "but I am bound to be true. I am not bound
to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have. I must stand
with anybody that stands right; stand with him while he is right, and
part with him when he goes wrong." In view of the wilful trespass
committed by Italians on the property and rights of the Yugoslavs and
the oft-repeated guarantees of protection given to the Slavs by the
American Government against such invasion, it is passing strange that
d'Annunzio should have appealed to Abraham Lincoln of all people. As for
Admiral Millo, he telegraphed to Rome that he had thrown in his fortunes
with those of d'Annunzio, and he made to the populace a very fiery
speech. It is not known whether he communicated with the France of
Clemenceau, the England of Lloyd George and the America of Wilson, whose
representative he apparently continued to be for the rest of Dalmatia,
while relinquishing that post with regard to Zadar, his residence.


If Admiral Millo's rebellion had been published in the press of November
16th, it is most likely that 250, instead of 160, Socialists would have
been successful at the General Election--an election which Signor
Nitti, that very able parliamentarian, had brought about for the
purpose, amongst other things, of testing the forces and popularity of
the Nationalist party. The old Chamber had--voicing the wishes of the
people--voted for the open annexation of Rieka, without war or violence;
the Nationalists, in order to gain their ends, would seemingly have
stopped at nothing. Military adventures, the breaking of alliances,
agrarian and industrial upheaval--it was all the same to them. They
scoffed at the common sense of the imperturbable Nitti when he said that
the Italians, like their Roman ancestors, must return to the plough.
Furiously they harped upon the facts that bread was dearer now, that
coal was nearly unprocurable. And Giolitti, who in 1915 had strenuously
tried to keep the country neutral, said in a great speech before this
1919 election that the War had been waged between England and Germany
for the supremacy of the survivor and that Italy should never have
participated. He enlarged upon the fearful sufferings of his countrymen,
and he compared the gains of Italy with those of her Allies. Nor was he
deterred when Signor Salandra, the former Premier, called him Italy's
evil spirit who, devoid of any patriotism, would have sold the
Fatherland to the Central Powers for a mess of pottage. Giolitti, on
whom 300 deputies had left their cards in the tragic hours before the
declaration of war, had good reason to know that even if Giolittism had
melted away, the House had secretly remained Giolittian.

A new electoral system was introduced, whereby the people voted for
programmes and parties rather than directly for individual candidates.
This, it was hoped, would render corruption more difficult by enclosing
the individual within the framework of the list, and it was also hoped
that there would be less violence than usual. As a matter of fact there
probably was a diminution with respect to these two practices, but only
because of the large number of abstentions--merely 29 per cent. voted in
Rome, 38 per cent. in Naples, and in Turin scarcely more. The people
were tired of the excessive complexity and dissimulation of Italian
politics. There was a good deal of violence--in Milan, Florence, Bologna
and Sicily the riots were sometimes fatal--and with such an electorate,
more extensive than heretofore, so that symbols had often to be used
instead of the printed word, it was to be expected that there would not
be an atmosphere of even relatively calm discussion. At Naples 132
candidates struggled for eleven seats--their meetings were
indescribable. And it may be thought that in such conditions the
victorious parties would not necessarily reflect the wishes of the
country. The Nationalists were dispersed, the Giolittians were
routed--the Socialists increased from 40 to 156, and the Catholics from
30 to 101. Gabriele d'Annunzio had been the Socialists' chief elector.


There was now a fair hope that the Government would be in a position to
solve the Adriatic problem. The Italian delegates in Paris had suggested
that, in the independent buffer State, Rieka should have a separate
municipal status, and that a narrow strip of land should join the buffer
State to Italy. On December 9, a memorandum was signed by the
representatives of Great Britain and America, which was the best
compromise which anyone had yet proposed. The strip was dismissed as
being "counter to every known consideration of geography, economics and
territorial convenience." [Nevertheless this very dangerous expedient of
the strip, after having been thus roundly rejected by the Allies, formed
a part of the Treaty of Rapallo in November 1920--the Yugoslavs had most
generously given way rather than leave this exasperating Adriatic
problem still unsolved.] Rieka with her environment was to be a _corpus
separatum_--and this was the chief point which made the proposals
inacceptable to Italy. That Socialist group which is represented by the
_Avanti_ seemed to be the only one whose attitude was not intransigeant.
The question of Rieka, it argued, was not isolated, but should be
considered as one of the numerous questions of Italian foreign politics.
It laughed at those who every moment cry "Our Fiume," because there are
in the town many people who speak Italian. Other groups of Socialists
had altered very much from the day when the three delegates--Labriola,
Raimundo and Cappa--spoke of the Adriatic at the Congress which Kerensky
summoned to Petrograd. Labriola was considered the most arrogant and
chauvinist of the trio, but not even he demanded Rieka--there was no
question of it at the time. Still less did he dream of Zadar or
Šibenik; what he pleaded for was Triest, Istria and an island.... In
December 1919 some Italian Socialist papers were printing reports on the
economic life of Rieka, which was in a disastrous condition. But the
great majority of Italians were so bent upon securing Rieka that they
did not seem to care if by that time she were dead. And they threw a
little dust into their eyes, if not into the eyes of the Entente, by
declaring that if they did not annex Rieka that unhappy, faithful town
would annex them. The self-appointed Consiglio Nazionale Italiano of
Rieka was, however, at this time less preoccupied with the Madre Patria
than with her own very troublesome affairs; she had no leisure to
organize those patriotic deputations to Rome, which sailed so frequently
across the Adriatic and which, as was revealed by Signor Nitti's organ
_Il Tempo_,[46] were too often composed of speculators who liked to
receive in Italy the sum of 60 centesimi for an unstamped Austrian paper
crown that was barely worth ten. The disillusioned C.N.I. would have
given a good many lire to be rid of d'Annunzio; the citizens were
invited to vote on the following question: "Is it desirable to accept
the proposal of the Italian Government, declared acceptable by the
C.N.I. at its meeting of December 15, which absolves Gabriele d'Annunzio
and his legionaries from their oath to hold Rieka until its annexation
has been decreed and effected?" On December 21, in the Chamber, Signor
Nitti announced that more than half the citizens had voted and that
four-fifths of them were in favour of the suggestion of the C.N.I. But
d'Annunzio, whose adherents by no means facilitated the plebiscite,
proclaimed it null and void. Yet, after all, Italy had likewise, on
every occasion when the Yugoslavs suggested a plebiscite under impartial
control, refused to sanction it.


Then suddenly a ray of light shone through the clouds. The ever-cheerful
Signor Nitti, after a conference with Lloyd George and Clemenceau--no
Yugoslav being present, whereas Signor Nitti was both pleader and
judge--was authorized to say that the December memorandum had been
shelved. Terms more favourable to Italy were substituted and the
Yugoslav Government were told they must accept them. One of these terms
was to modify the Wilson line in Istria, ostensibly for the protection
of Triest and in reality to dominate the railway line Rieka-St.
Peter-Ljubljana; another of the terms was to present Italy with that
narrow corridor which in December the Allies had so peremptorily
disallowed. No wonder the American Ambassador in France gave his
warning. "You are going," he said, "much too far and much too quickly.
President Wilson cannot keep pace with you." The French Government was
passing through a period of change, and these new proposals, as was
underlined in the _Temps_,[47] emanated from London. Mr. Lloyd George,
who may have wished for Signor Nitti's aid in his offensive against
France in the Russian and Turkish questions, was this time very badly
served by his intuition. The Yugoslavs were ordered to accept the new
proposals or to submit to the application of the Treaty of London, that
secret and abandoned instrument which--to mention only one of the
objections against it--provided for complete Yugoslav sovereignty over
Rieka, a solution that, in view of Italy's inflamed public opinion, was
for the time being impracticable. And while the Yugoslavs were told that
Rieka would, under the Treaty of London, fall to them, no details were
given as to how d'Annunzio was to be removed. "Nous sommes dans
l'incohérence," as Clemenceau used to say of the political condition of
France before the war. Seeing that the Italian Government and the C.N.I.
had shown themselves so powerless, were France and England going to turn
the poet out? But Mr. Lloyd George was more fortunate than Disraeli,
whose error in the question of Bosnia and Herzegovina had had such dire
results; on February 13, a very firm note was issued by President
Wilson, which compelled France and Great Britain to withdraw from the
position they had taken up. Wilson would have nothing to do with the
notorious corridor, though Clemenceau had said on January 13, to the
Yugoslav delegates: "Si nous n'avions pas fait cette concession, nous
n'avions pas eu le reste." "The American Government," said Wilson,
"feels that it cannot sacrifice the principle for which it entered the
war to gratify the improper ambition of one of its associates, Italy, to
purchase a temporary appearance of calm in the Adriatic at the price of
a future world conflagration." The rejoinder of the French and British
Premiers was a trifle lame, and when they ventured to add that they
could not believe that it was the purpose of the American people, as the
President threatened, to retire from the treaty with Germany and the
agreement of June 28, 1919, with France unless his point of view was
adopted in this particular case, which, in their opinion, had "the
appearance of being so inadequate," they were not caring to remember
that while their own countries and Italy were suffering from a lack of
food-stuffs and provisions were being imported at a disastrous rate of
exchange from the United States, the products of Yugoslavia, such as
meat and meal, could not be obtained because Rieka, which ought surely
to serve its hinterland, was at that moment not available, owing to
d'Annunzio. At the same time the President did not go to the opposite
extreme of simply allocating the port to Yugoslavia, which the
application of the Treaty of London would involve. He preferred to act
on the principle that the differences between Italy and the Yugoslavs
were inconsiderable, especially as compared with the magnitude of their
common interests. And direct negotiations between the two parties were
to be recommended, with the proviso that no use be made of France and
Great Britain's immoral suggestion that an agreement be reached on "the
basis of compensation elsewhere at the expense of nationals of a third
Power." It had indeed been proposed that the Yugoslavs should be bribed
by concessions in Albania, but this idea was very explicitly rejected
and on more than one occasion by the Yugoslav delegates in Paris.

While, in the following months, the Yugoslavs and the Italians
negotiated, the task of their delegates was impeded by the occasional
Cabinet crises in Belgrade and in Rome. It was made no easier by those
Italians who clamorously objected to the remark of Clemenceau, when he
said that both Yugoslavs and Italians had been compelled to fight in
Austria's army. The _Corriere d'Italia_ told him that he displayed the
zeal of a corporal to defend the Yugoslavs. After alluding to his
"historical inexactitudes," it reminded him of the Italians who were
slain at Reims and the Chemin des Dames, but as usual omitted to speak
of the French soldiers who fell in Italy. And, while the negotiations
were being carried on, Gabriele d'Annunzio clung to his town. The
compromise of a mixed administration seemed to have small chance of
being realized. It had been proposed by that Inter-Allied Commission
which was set up to investigate the circumstances of the French
massacre; and the Italian delegate, General di Robilant, not only said
in his report[48] to the Senate that this compromise was most favourable
for Italian aspirations but he is alleged also to have included some
very drastic criticism of the actions of the high military authorities,
whom he charged with unconstitutional interference. Nevertheless neither
the poet nor the Premier were as yet in a tractable mood with regard to
the Rieka problem. Signor Nitti, parading his bonhomie, championed the
cause in a more statesmanlike fashion; he did not, like d'Annunzio,
evoke the world's ridicule by his footlight attitudes and those of his
faithful supporters who, when his "Admiral" Rizzo abandoned him, when
Giorati his confidant withdrew, when even Millo advised moderation, took
certain piratical steps in order to keep the garrison supplied with
food,[49] and composed an anthem which on ceremonial occasions was
chanted in the poet's honour. But when Signor Nitti observed, with the
utmost affability, that Rieka had, after the fall of the Crown of St.
Stephen, become mistress of her own fate and as such, regardless of the
Treaty of London, asked for inclusion in Italy, he, the Prime Minister,
was vying in recklessness with d'Annunzio. The prevailing sentiment both
in Triest and Rieka, said the _Times_,[50] was that both these towns
should become free ports in order to serve their hinterlands, which are
not Italian. "Italy is neglecting Triest in favour of Venice," says the
dispatch. In Rieka, where the situation was even worse, "an honest
plebiscite, even if confined to the Italian part of the city, would give
a startling result. The Italians of Rieka are convinced that their
existence depends on good relations with the Yugoslavs. They wish the
town and port to be independent under the sovereignty of the League of
Nations. This I have recently been told by a large number of Italians in
Rieka who are obliged, in public, to support d'Annunzio." Signor Nitti
must have been aware that the voice of the C.N.I. was very far from
being the voice of Rieka. The C.N.I. had reasons of their own for
wishing to postpone the day when their arbitrary powers would come to an
end and a legal Government, whether that of the League of Nations or of
the people's will or of Italy or of Yugoslavia, be established.


Owing to the complaints of innumerable citizens the C.N.I. had nominated
a Commission to inquire into the pillage of the former Austrian stores
at Rieka--this town, as we have mentioned, had been the base for the
Albanian army--and the findings of that Commission displayed the
culpability of the most prominent members of the C.N.I. This document
was for a long time unknown to the general public, but was afterwards
published in Italy by Signor Riccardo Zanella, himself an Italian and an
ex-deputy and ex-mayor of Rieka. There was, by the way, an article in
the Triest paper, _Il Lavoratore_, at the beginning of September 1920,
wherein one Tercilio Borghese, a former member of d'Annunzio's army,
confesses that on June 21, he was ordered by d'Annunzio, as also by
Colonel Sani and Captain Baldassari, to get Signor Zanella in some way
out of the world. Hinko Camero and Angelo Marzić, his fellow-workers,
had likewise to be removed; and for this purpose Borghese says that the
Colonel provided him with a revolver. He was also to try to seize any
compromising documents. But he was forced by his conscience to reveal
everything to Zanella.... Now this confession may be true or false, but
the Triest "fascisti" (Nationalists) believed in it, for they issued a
placard on which they called Borghese a traitor and threatened him with
death. "He who after November 1918 returns to the martyred town," writes
Signor Zanella, "is simply stupefied in beholding that those personages
who now strut on the political scene, burning with the most ardent
Italian patriotism, are the same who until the eve of Vittorio Veneto
were the most unbending, the most eloquent and the most devoted
partisans and servants of the reactionary Magyar régime." And around
them a number of more or less questionable persons were assembled, whose
conduct with regard to the disposal of the Austrian stores has now been
so severely censured. That organization which, dependent on the C.N.I.,
was supposed to administer the stores, was known as the Adriatic
Commission. "We all knew," said the Commission of inquiry, "that the
eyes of the whole world were gazing at our little town." It was,
therefore, very desirable that nothing irregular should be done; whereas
the judges give a most unfavourable verdict. Nobody, they say, would
rejoice more than themselves if their conclusions should be shown to be
completely or partly erroneous, for they are all of them penetrated with
love for the fatherland Italy. But they relate, with chapter and verse,
a large number of peculiar transactions which show that the goods were
very improperly and very hastily auctioned, and that those who reaped
the benefit were nearly always the same people. To give one instance,
some of the wine, said to have been damaged, was sold at 260 crowns the
thousand litres, while undamaged wine brought 320 crowns, and the firm
of Riboli, the only one which appeared at the so-called auction, was
only asked to pay 30 crowns. Thus a considerable number of people in
Rieka were anxious that the town should not come under any Government
which might punish the culprits or make them disgorge. And Nitti and
d'Annunzio agreed with these interested parties in opposing a solution
other than the overlordship of Italy. "The Yugoslavs should understand,"
said the amiable Premier, "that Italy has no intention of acting in a
manner distasteful to them, but is struggling for a national ideal." And
meantime what of the conditions in the poor distracted town?
"D'Annunzio," says an Italian paper, "is no longer the master of Rieka.
He has become the prisoner of his own troops.... While he amuses himself
and organizes the worst orgies, his troops quarrel in the streets and
discharge their weapons.... A great many of them have their mistresses
in the hospital, where they make themselves at home. When the doctors,
after some time, protested, the arditi, with bombs in their hands,
threatened to blow up the hospital if they were not allowed to enter
it." On the other hand the pale, weary-looking poet succeeded in
impressing on a special correspondent of the _Morning Post_ that he was
"master of his job." He told this gentleman--and was apparently
believed--that with the consent and approval of the C.N.I. he had had
the whole place mined, city and harbour, and was prepared to blow it up
at a moment's notice. The means by which d'Annunzio, according to his
interviewer, worked on those who were depressed with gazing at the empty
shops, the silent warehouses, the grass-grown wharves, so that the
overwhelming majority of the town supported him, was by simply making to
them an eloquent speech. D'Annunzio would indeed be the master of his
job if with some rounded periods in Italian he could cause the very
numerous hostile business men to forget so blissfully that they were
men of business. Under his dispensation the town is said to have been
turned into a place of debauchery. Accusations were brought against his
sexual code, and with regard to men of commerce: "those who are not
partisans of d'Annunzio are expelled, and their establishments handed
over to friends of the ruling power.... Woe to him who dares to condemn
the transactions of the poet's adherents. There and then he is
pronounced to be a Yugoslav, is placed under surveillance and is
persecuted." These Italian critics of the poet do not in the least
exaggerate. One instance of his conduct towards a British firm will be
sufficient. The "Anglo-Near East Trading Company" shipped sixty-seven
cases (5292 pairs) of boots to private traders in Belgrade, and on the
way they reached Rieka just before d'Annunzio. In March 1920 they were
still detained there, and on the 13th of that month a certain Alcesde di
Ambris, who described himself as the Chief of the Cabinet, wrote a
letter saying that the boots were requisitioned, and that they would be
paid for within thirty days at a price fixed on March 5 by experts of
the local Chamber of Commerce. The company was offered forty lire a
pair, but they declined to accept so inadequate a sum. Señor Meynia, the
Spanish Consul, who was also representing Great Britain, attempted in
various ways to help the firm; he was finally told by an officer that
the "exceptional situation of Rieka compels the Authority to suspend the
exportation or transport of such goods as are thoroughly needed here."
And the Consul could do no more than protest. One might presume, from
this officer's reply, that d'Annunzio required the boots for his army.
As a matter of fact, they were simply sold to a couple of dealers, one
Levy of Triest and Mailänder of Rieka. It is alleged that the prices
paid by these receivers of stolen property was a good deal higher than
forty lire. When Signor di Ambris travelled to Rome in the merry month
of June and enjoyed a consultation with the Prime Minister, who by this
time was Signor Giolitti, it was not in order to explain any such
transactions as that one of the boots, but for the purpose, we are told,
of offering the services of d'Annunzio and his legionaries in Albania.
The regular Italian army was just then being roughly handled by the
natives.... It may be that Signor di Ambris wanted guarantees that if
the d'Annunzian troops were to come to the rescue, they would not suffer
the fate of the Yugoslavs who in the Great War had managed to desert to
Italy, had valiantly fought and won many decorations and--after the
War--been ignominiously interned. And they had given no grounds for
charges of financial frailty.


The months go by and Yugoslavia still survives. At the post-office of a
large village in Syrmia, not far from Djakovo, where Bishop Strossmayer
laboured during fifty-five years for the union of the Southern Slavs
which he was destined not to see, a bulky farmer told me that in his
opinion Yugoslavia, created in 1918, was now in 1920 "kaput." He deduced
this from the fact that a telegram used to travel much more
expeditiously in Austrian days; but he did not remember that the
Yugoslavs, in the Serbian and in the Austro-Hungarian armies, had
suffered enormous losses in the War, and that while French, Dutch and
Swiss doctors have been obtained by the Belgrade Government, one cannot
use telegraphists who are ignorant of the language. An excellent
province in which Yugoslavia's solidity can be studied is Bosnia. At the
outbreak of the War the Moslems and Croats were not imbued with the
Yugoslav idea; it seemed to them that the Serbs, one of whom had slain
the Archduke, were traitors to Southern Slavdom. During the War the
Croats and Moslems were taught by their Slav officers to be good
nationalists and were given frequent lessons in the art of going over to
the enemy. After the Armistice one did not see every Serb, Croat and
Moslem in Bosnia forthwith forgetting all the evil of the past. Among
the less enlightened certain private acts of vengeance had to be
performed; but these were not as numerous as one might have expected.
And very soon the population of Bosnia came to be interested far less in
the old religious differences--the two deputies Dr. Džamonia and
Professor Stanojević smilingly remembered the day when, as
schoolboys at Sarajevo, they had been persuaded by the Austrians to pull
out each other's hair for the reason that one was a Croat and one was a
Serb--and now it was the engrossing subject of Agrarian Reform which
claimed the attention of Catholic, Orthodox and Moslem. This is not a
religious question, for while the landlords are mostly Muhammedan begs
about half the peasants are of the same religion; and the negotiations
have been marked by a notable absence of passion. Most of the begs
acknowledge that the old régime was unprofitable, for with the peasant
paying one-third to one-fifth of his production to the landlord the land
only yielded, as compared with the sandy districts of East Prussia, in
the proportion of five to twenty-two. Under the new order of things,
with the State in support of the "usurping" peasant--so that there are
said to be in Bosnia about a thousand peasants who are millionaires (in
crowns)--there is no longer any dispute with regard to the "kmet" land,
where the peasants with hereditary rights have become the owners; and
with regard to the "begluk," which the beg used to let to anyone he
pleased, it is only a question as to the degree of compensation. Thus,
it is not among the landowners and the peasants that one must look in
searching for an anti-national party. Bosnia contains various iron works
and coal mines, where profession is made of Communism. But when the
Prince-Regent was about to come to pay his first official visit in 1920
to Sarajevo the Governor received a communication from the Communists of
Zenica, which is on the railway line. They asked for permission to
salute "our Prince" as he came past; and a deputation of these
Communists, who are very like their colleagues in other parts of
Yugoslavia, duly appeared and took part in a ceremony at the station.


Just as innocuous--whatever the enemies of Yugoslavia may say--are the
Communists in the old kingdom of Serbia. Perhaps in the whole State of
Yugoslavia they number 50,000 in a population of about 12,500,000. But
they are so well organized that in the municipal elections of 1920 they
were victorious in most of the towns. In Belgrade they secured 3600
votes, as compared with 3200 for the Radicals, 2800 for the
Democrats--both of whom were not only badly organized but very
slack--and 605 for the Republicans. However, the Communists refused to
swear the requisite oath, and in consequence were not permitted to take
office, the Radicals and Democrats forming a union to carry on. It was
agreed to have a new election and the other parties, being now awakened,
determined that the Communists should not again top the poll. But in the
provincial towns they have not by any means shown themselves a
disintegrating influence. At Niš, for example, they conducted the
municipal affairs quite satisfactorily, while at Čuprija they
perceived that it would be impossible to put into effect their entire
programme, and so, after fourteen days, they resigned.


... As for the Communists in the Skupština, it may be argued that
though this party of over fifty members has ceased to exist we should
have said not simply that they are innocuous but that they have been
rendered so. They were in principle against any State which violated
their somewhat hazy ideas on the subject of Capital: while professing to
aim at the holding of wealth in common they secured a great deal of
their success at the polls through the bait of more land for the
individual, which they dangled before the eyes of the most ignorant
classes. Some of the electors who supported them were prosperous farmers
unable to resist the idea of a still larger farm; but the majority of
their adherents were as ignorant as they were gullible. Yet one should
remember that for most of them this was practically their first
experience of an election: the constituencies which had formerly been in
Austria-Hungary had always seen the booths under the supervision of the
police, while the Macedonian voter (three Communists were returned for
Skoplje) had only known the institutions of the Turkish Empire. Being
told by the Communists that their box at the polling-station was really
the box for the poor, the Fukara, all the gypsies and so forth of
Skoplje, who had never voted in their lives, hastened to claim the
privilege, under the impression that a Communist Government would
liberate them from taxes and military service. Other reasons for the
success of the Communists in Yugoslavia, an essentially non-industrial
State, were the general discontent with post-war conditions, and the
virus which so many of the voters had acquired in Russia or on the
Dobrudja front during the War. The activity in the Skupština of this
very indigestible party--largely composed of Turks, Magyars, Albanians,
Germans and others--their activity in and out of Parliament was not
confined to words. In June 1920 they only refrained from throwing bombs
in the Skupština because one of their own members would have been in
peril, and in December a plot against the Prince-Regent and some of the
Ministers was foiled. Thereupon the Emergency Act of December 27, the
so-called Obznana, came into existence. It suspended all Communist
associations. This Act was issued for the good of the country, but was
not previously presented to the Constituent Assembly or provided with
the royal signature. How justified were the authorities in thus putting
a stop to this party could be seen when some of the Communist deputies
were interrogated, for either they were dangerous fanatics or else very
ignorant individuals, who knew no more about any other question than
about Communism, and had only been elected because they professed
dissatisfaction with things in general. A few months later Mr.
Drašković, the very able Minister of the Interior, who had drawn
up the Obznana, but who by that time had laid down the seals of office,
was murdered by Communists at a seaside resort in the presence of his
wife and little children. The object of this particular outrage was to
persuade the authorities in panic to withdraw the hated Obznana, whereas
the previous attempts on various personages seem to have been greatly
due to the desire to show some positive result in return for the cash
which came to them from Moscow. (One of the leaders of the party, the
ex-professor of mathematics, was arrested last summer in Vienna on his
return from Moscow, with a large and very miscellaneous collection of
English, French, American, Russian and other money.) After the murder of
Mr. Drašković the mandates of the Communist deputies were
suppressed; seven or eight of them were detained, for speedy trial, and
the rest were told to go to their homes. The Communist parliamentary
party was at an end--it was established that their Committee room in the
Skupština had been used for highly improper purposes--but there was
nothing to prevent these ex-deputies from being elected as members of
any other party, and it was rather beside the mark for an English
review, the _Labour Monthly_,[51] to talk of the "White Terror in
Jugo-Slavia," as if there prevailed in that country anything comparable
with Admiral Horthy's régime in Hungary.


The behaviour of the Communists was far from being the only clog in
Yugoslavia's parliamentary machine. After the first General Election of
November 1920--delayed until then on account of Italy's attitude, which
made it impossible to demobilize the army--no single party nor even one
of the large groups was possessed of a real working majority. Fierce and
determined was the Opposition;[52] to carry on the business of
government it became necessary to secure the coalition of several
parties. The Radical and Democrat _bloc_ had to attract to its side one
or two other parties, and it was truly difficult to make concessions to
anyone of these without rousing the righteous or the envious wrath of
another group. In principle it was proper that the Bosnian Moslems
should receive compensation for their estates; the question is whether
the very large sum was less in the nature of a fair price than of a
bribe. The Radical party was no longer under its happy triumvirate of
Pašić, the old diplomat, Protić, the executor of his ideas, and
Patchoù, a medical man from Novi Sad, the real brain of the party. We
shall give an example of Patchoù's prudence; the long views which he
possessed may be illustrated by what occurred at a meeting of Radical
deputies two days before the outbreak of the second Balkan War. The
Tzar's proposed arbitration was being discussed and certain deputies,
such as the late Dr. Pavlović, who was the first speaker of the
Yugoslav Parliament after the Great War, raised their voices in
opposition; they were supported by the army. "Can we have Bitolje
(Monastir)?" they asked. "It is not known what the Tzar will decide,"
said Pašić. "Then we can't accept arbitration," said Pavlović.
And Patchoù spoke. "I would be very glad to know," said he, "what Mr.
Pavlović would say if we could get, by possibly now sacrificing
Bitolje, not only Bosnia, but Dalmatia and other Slav countries." "All
that," said Pavlović, "is music of the future." "For you perhaps,"
said Patchoù, "but not for us." And the vote in favour of arbitration
was carried. Patchoù died in 1915 at Niš. Besides being an expert in
finance and foreign affairs he was less arbitrary in his methods than
Protić. That very erudite man--no sooner does an important book
appear in Western or Central Europe than a copy of it goes to his
library--has not been much endowed with patience. This brought him into
conflict with his Democratic colleague Mr. Pribičević, the most
prominent man in that party. It would have been well if Dr.
Davidović, the gentle, tactful leader of the party, could have taken
into his own composition one-half of his lieutenant's excessive
combativeness. Pribičević and Protić find it impossible to work
together, and we can sympathize with both of them. One day at a more
than usually disagreeable Cabinet meeting Pribičević reminded the
then Prime Minister that he was the first among equals, a point of view
which did not square with the methods of Protić, who gives his
support to those Ministers who bend before him. And as Pribičević
has hitherto insisted on being in every Cabinet, Protić has withdrawn
and has started a newspaper, the _Radical_, in which he attacks him with
great violence and ability. One charge which he brings against this Serb
from Croatia is perfectly true, for he has succeeded in alienating the
Croats. Only two or three Democrat deputies come from Croatia, and they
are elected by the Serbs who live in that province. It would seem that
the Croats will remain in more or less active opposition so long as
Pribičević, the arch-centralizer who scorns to wear the velvet
glove, stays in the Government. There is also much doubt as to whether
Protić can break down their particularism, which, of course, is not
an anti-national movement. But luckily, through other men, it will be
stayed. For other reasons one regrets that Mr. Protić is not now in
power; as the Finance Minister he knew how to introduce order,
preferring the interests of the State to those of his party. Both
Radicals and Democrats have been reluctant, for electoral purposes, to
tax the farmer; and Mr. Protić would probably have the courage to
impose a direct tax, as the Radicals did, without losing popular favour,
in the old days. In this respect and concerning the numerous posts that
have been created for party reasons it is thought that Mr. Pašić
has not displayed sufficient energy.

There was in Yugoslavia a heavy war deficit, both economic and
financial. Communications were out of order and the State, owing to the
adverse exchange (which was not justified by the economic potentialities
of the country, but was probably caused by the unsettled conditions both
internal and external), the State could not obtain the necessary raw
products for industrial undertakings such as iron-works, tanneries,
cloth factories, etc. The Yugoslavs did not borrow from abroad, as they
might have done, in the form of raw materials. The agricultural products
which were exported should have been sold for the needful manufacturers'
material and not for articles of luxury and not for depreciated foreign,
especially Austrian, currency.[53] The Yugoslav public is slow to learn
economy, that it should restrict the importation of luxuries. What makes
it particularly unhappy, in which frame of mind it listens to the voices
prophesying woe for Yugoslavia, is the knowledge that for increased
production and for many other necessary aims more capital is wanted,
whereas under present conditions it has been difficult to borrow. But
happily in this respect the corner has been turned, and in the spring of
1922 a considerable loan was negotiated with an American syndicate.


However, the principal disintegrating force in Yugoslavia, we were often
told in England, was Montenegro, where, it seems, the natives were
yearning to cast off their yoke. The British devotees of the former king
told us of the ghastly state of Montenegro, and our Foreign Office was
bombarded with reports which ascribed these evils to the wretched
Government of Yugoslavia. "There is nothing anywhere," says a memorandum
from the ineffable Devine. "The shops are empty, the town markets are
deserted. The peasants, who may not travel from one village to another
without a Serbian 'permit' ... etc. etc." Well, I visited Cetinje market
on a non-market day, and passing through the crowd of people I admired
the produce of various parts of the country--melons, tomatoes, dried
fish, onions, peaches, nuts and cheese, lemons from Antivari and so
forth. I happened to ask a comely woman called Petriečević from
near Podgorica whether she had a permit; she looked surprised at such a
question. It is very true that the more mountainous parts of Montenegro
are far from prosperous, but to insinuate that this is the fault of the
Government is childish. Hampered by the lack of transport--practically
everything has to be brought on ox-carts up by the tremendous road from
Kotor--they have recently given away 38,000 kilos of wheat and many
mountain horses at Cetinje. I suppose it was all in the game for Devine
and his assistants to throw mud at the Yugoslav Government if they
believed that they would--for the happiness of the Montenegrins and
themselves--help to restore Nikita. But what was the use of saying that
"the poor people have no money and have nothing to eat; they are said to
be living on a herb of some sort that grows wild in the mountains"?... A
very satisfactory feature of the past year has been the migration of
7000 Montenegrins to more fertile parts of Yugoslavia. And as for
Nikita's partisans, they were such small beer that when they wished to
hold a meeting at Cetinje the Government had not the least objection; it
also allowed them to sing the songs that Nikita wrote, but that was more
than the population of Cetinje would stand. It is only at Cetinje, where
he reigned for sixty years, and at Njeguš, where he was born, that
Nikita has any adherents at all. As for his adherents at Gaeta, the
Cetinje authorities were perfectly willing to give a passport to any
woman who desired to spend some time in Italy with her husband or
brother or son. She might stay there or come back, just as she pleased.
And very likely when she got to Gaeta she would relate how in the
cathedral, at the rock-bound monastery of Ostrog, and in other sacred
places, one could see the Montenegrin women cursing their ex-king.


The sinister shadow of d'Annunzio had fallen across Dalmatia and beyond
it: for instance, on November 20, 1919, the King of Italy's name-day, a
general holiday was proclaimed in the occupied districts. The director
of the school at Zlosela, a Slav who had never been an Italian subject,
gave--perhaps injudiciously--the usual lessons. He and his wife were
arrested and for months they were in prison, their six-months-old child
being left to the mercy of neighbours; and the local commandant, Major
Gracco Golini, told Dr. Smolčić, the President of the National
Council, that the slightest action on the part of the Yugoslavs would
provoke terrible measures on the part of d'Annunzio's arditi, who would
spare neither women nor children.... The reader may remember the
Montenegrin General Vešović, who took to the mountains and defied
the Austrians. On the accession of the Emperor Karl he surrendered and,
much to the surprise of his people, he travelled round the country
recommending every one to offer no more opposition, to be quiet and
obedient to the Austrians. When the war was over the authorities at
Belgrade gave him, as they did to other Montenegrin generals, the same
rank in the Yugoslav army; but the numerous Montenegrins who resented
his unpatriotic behaviour persuaded the War Office, after two or three
months, to remove him from the active list. This exasperated the
ambitious man to such an extent that he withdrew to his own district and
began to work against Yugoslavia. A major with a force of 200 gendarmes
was sent to fetch him back and, after conversations that lasted ten
days, induced him to return to Belgrade. There he was not molested; he
used to sit for hours in the large café of the Hotel Moscow in civilian
clothes. But one day a policeman at the harbour happened to observe him
talking for a long time to a fisherman; he wondered what the two might
have in common. When the fisherman was interrogated he refused at first
to give any information, but he finally divulged that he had agreed, for
1500 francs, to take the General down the Danube either to Bulgaria or
Roumania. That evening at nine o'clock the General appeared, with his
son and a servant; he was captured,[54] and among his documents were
some which proved, it was alleged, that he was in communication with


Month follows month. The reading public and some of the statesmen of the
world begin to recognize that, whatever may be the case on other
portions of the new map, there is nothing unreal or impossible or
artificial about Yugoslavia. This State is the result of a national
movement, having its origins within and not without the peoples whose
destiny it affects. The various Yugoslavs, after being kept apart for
all these centuries, have now--roughly speaking--come to that stage
which the Germans reached in 1866. They cannot rest until they reach
the unity which came to the Germans after 1870. And here also, it seems,
the unity will not be gained without the sacrifice of thousands of young
men. "Go, my son," said Oxenstiern the Swedish Chancellor, "and observe
by what imbeciles the world is governed." It is pitiable that the
leaders of the nations, in declining month after month to give to
Yugoslavia an equitable frontier, should apparently have been more
impressed by the arguments of Mrs. Lucy Re-Bartlett[55] than by those of
an anonymous philosopher in the _Edinburgh Review_.[56] "Nationality?"
says the lady, speaking of the country people of Dalmatia, "nationality?
These people of the country districts--the great mass of the
population--are far too primitive to have any sense of nationality as
yet, but if some day they call themselves Italian...." That is what she
says of a people which through centuries of persecution and neglect have
preserved their language, their traditions, their hopes; a people which,
more than forty years ago, won their great victory against the Habsburg
régime of Italian and Italianist officials, so that with one exception
every mayor in Dalmatia and all the Imperial deputies and hundreds of
societies of all kinds, such as 375 rural savings-banks, were
exclusively Yugoslav. Out of nearly 150,000 votes at the last general
election, which was held in 1911 on the basis of universal suffrage, the
Yugoslav candidates received about 145,000 against 5000 to 6000 for the
Italians. It is indisputable that the Dalmatian peasants are backward in
many things, but one is really sorry for the person who declares in
print that they possess no sense of nationality. Let her visit any house
of theirs on Christmas Eve and watch them celebrate the "badnjak"; let
her listen any evening to their songs. Let her think whether there is no
sense of nationality among the priests, who almost to a man are the sons
of Yugoslav peasants. And let her recollect that these are the days when
the other Yugoslavs are at last uniting in their own free State. She has
the hardihood to tell us of the poor Dalmatians who were being bribed
with waterworks and bridges and gratuitous doctoring. I daresay that the
little ragged Slav children of Kievo whom she saw clustering round the
kindly Italian officer were glad enough to eat his chocolates,[57] but I
think that we others should pay more attention to those secret
societies, the _četasis_ (which is Slav for komitadjis), who have
sworn to liberate all Istria from the Italians. We may also consider the
proposals made by the Southern Slavs whom Signor Salvemini, the
distinguished Professor of Modern History at Pisa, called "extreme
Nationalists" (see his letter of September 11, 1916, to the editor of
_La Serbie_, which was being published in Switzerland). Well, it appears
that the "extreme Southern Slav Nationalists," as the utmost of their
aspirations, claim the Southern Slav section of the province of Gorica
with the town Triest and the whole of Istria, that is to say, a
territory which, with a population the majority of whom are Slav,
contains also 284,325 Italians, whereas the smallest programme ever
proposed by moderate Italians, including Professor Salvemini, covets
some 364,000 Southern Slavs. Thus the extreme Southern Slav elements, in
their widest demands, are more moderate than the moderate Italians in
their most limited programme. "Without distinction of tribe or creed,"
says that Edinburgh reviewer, "all the Yugoslavs are waiting for their
1870. This will fix and perpetuate their unity.... The preparation is
going forward silently--almost sullenly--and without demur or
qualification the Yugoslavs are accepting the Serb military chiefs'
guidance and domination." He was much impressed by the silence and
controlled power of the Serbian General Staff. There was in Europe a
general war-weariness; but not in Yugoslavia. There was a hush in this
part of Europe, broken only by the shrill screams of Italian
propagandists and outbursts of suppressed passion on the other side.


And the Rapallo Treaty of November 1920, when at last the statesmen of
Italy and Yugoslavia came to terms regarding all their frontiers! This
Treaty was received with much applause by the great majority of the
French and British Press; in this country of compromise it was pointed
out by many that as each party knew that the other had abated something
of his desires the Treaty would probably remain in operation for a long
time to come. And column after column of smug comment was written in
various newspapers by the "Diplomatic Correspondent," whose knowledge of
diplomacy may have been greater than his acquaintance with the Adriatic,
since they followed one another, like a procession of sheep, in copying
the mistake in a telegram which spoke of Eritto, the curious suburb of
Zadar, instead of Borgo Erizzo. They noted that each side had yielded
something, though it was true that the Yugoslavs had been the more
generous in surrendering half a million of their compatriots, whereas
the Italians had given up Dalmatia, to which they never had any
right.[58] "The claim for Dalmatia was entirely unjustified," said
Signor Colajanni in the Italian Chamber on November 23--yet it was not
our business to weigh the profit and loss to the two interested parties.
After all, it was they who had between themselves made this Agreement,
and one might argue that it surely would be an impertinence if anybody
else was more royalist than the king. These commentators held that it
was inexpedient for anyone to ask why the Yugoslavs should now have
accepted conditions that were, on the whole, considerably worse than
those which President Wilson, with the approval of Great Britain and
France, had laid down as a minimum, if they were to realize their
national unity. And, of course, these writers deprecated any reference
to the pressure which France and Great Britain brought to bear upon the
Yugoslavs when the negotiations at Rapallo were in danger of falling
through. If we take two Scottish newspapers, the _Scotsman_[59] was
typical of this very bland attitude; it congratulated everyone on the
harmonious close to a long, intricate and frequently dangerous
controversy. The _Glasgow Herald_,[60] on the other hand, was one of the
few newspapers which took a more than superficial view. "Monstrous," it
said, "as such intervention seems, no student of the Adriatic White
Paper--as lamentable a collection of documents as British diplomacy has
to show--can deny its possibility, nay its probability. It is precisely
the same game as was nearly successful in January 1920 and again in
April 1920, but both times was frustrated by Wilson. We are entitled to
ask, for the honour of our nation, if it has been played again; indeed
if the whole mask of direct negotiation--a British suggestion--was not
devised at San Remo with the express purpose of making the game succeed.
If it be so--and if it is not so it is imperative that we are given
frankly the full story of British policy in the Adriatic, for instance
the dispatches so carefully omitted from the White Paper--then our
forebodings for the future are more than justified.... It is
emphatically a bad settlement."

"We shall not establish friendly and normal relations with our neighbour
Italy unless we reduce all causes of friction to a minimum," said M.
Vesnić, the Yugoslav Prime Minister, who during his long tenure of
the Paris Legation was an active member of the Académie des Inscriptions
et Belles-Lettres and other learned societies; he excelled in getting at
the root of the worst difficulties in international law, and he was
particularly admired for his ability to combine legal and historic
knowledge. Because he studied history minutely--with a special fondness
for Gambetta who, racially an Italian, had something of the generous and
sacred fervour that distinguished the leaders of the Risorgimento--M.
Vesnić could not bring himself to hate Italy, despite all that
d'Annunzio and other Imperialists had made his countrymen suffer.
"Neither the Government nor the elected representatives of the Serbs,
Croats and Slovenes," said he courageously in his first speech as Prime
Minister, "ought to look upon Italy as an enemy country. We have to
settle important and difficult questions with Italy.... We must reduce
all causes of friction to a minimum."

The Treaty of Rapallo gives Zadar to Italy, because in that little town
there is an Italian majority; but central and eastern Istria, with their
overwhelming Slav majority, are not given to the Yugoslavs--a fact which
Professor Salvemini deplored in the Roman Chamber. By the Treaty of
Rapallo Rieka is given independence,[61] but with Italy in possession of
Istria and the isle of Cres, she can at any moment choke the
unprotected port, having very much the same grip of that place as
Holland has for so long had of Antwerp; and the sole concession on
Italy's part seems to be that in the south she gives up the large Slav
islands of Hvar, Korčula and Vis, and only appropriates the small one
of Lastovo.... "It has cost Italy a pang," says Mr. George Trevelyan,
"to consent, after victory, to leave the devoted and enthusiastic
Italians of the Dalmatian coast towns (other than Zara) in foreign
territory." The truth is that henceforward Yugoslavia will contain some
5000 Italians (many of whom are Italianized Slavs), as against not less
than 600,000 Slavs in Italy. And while the former are but tiny groups in
towns which even under Venetian rule were predominantly Slav and are
surrounded on all sides by purely Slav populations, the latter live for
the most part in compact masses and include roughly one-third of the
whole Slovene race, whose national sense is not only very acute, but who
are also much less illiterate than their Italian neighbours. One cannot
be astonished if the Slovenes think of this more than of Giotto,
Leonardo, Galileo and Dante. But one may be a little surprised that
such a man as Mr. Edmund Gardner should allow his reverence for the
imperishable glories of Italy to becloud his view of the modern world.
It is certainly a fact that the Slovenes are to-day less illiterate than
the Italians, but because Dr. Seton-Watson alludes to this, Mr. Gardner
(in the _Manchester Guardian_, of February 13, 1921) deplores the
"Balkanic mentality that seems to afflict some Englishmen when dealing
with these problems."


Now it is obvious that the Treaty of Rapallo has placed between the
Yugoslavs and the Italians all too many causes of friction. Zadar, like
other such enclaves, will be dear to the heart of the smuggler. She
cannot live without her Yugoslav hinterland--five miles away in
Yugoslavia are the waterworks, and if these were not included, by a
special arrangement, in her dominion, she would have no other liquid but
her maraschino. She cannot die without her Yugoslav hinterland--but so
that her inhabitants need not be carried out into a foreign land, the
cemetery has also, by stretching a point, been included in the city
boundaries. It remains to be seen how Zadar and the hinterland will
serve two masters. We have alluded to the questionable arrangements at
Rieka, in which town there had for those years been such an orgy of
limelight and recrimination that even the most statesmanlike solution
must have left a good deal of potential friction. In Istria the dangers
of an outbreak are evident. Italy has now become the absolute mistress
of the Adriatic and has gained a strategical frontier which could hardly
be improved upon, while Yugoslavia has been placed in an economic
position of much difficulty. Sooner or later, if matters are left _in
situ_, trouble will arise. Perhaps an economic treaty between Italy and
Yugoslavia, as favourable as possible to the weaker State, would
introduce some sort of stability; but no good cause would be served by
crying "Peace" where there is no peace, and while Yugoslavia has a
grievance there will be trouble in the Balkans.

The most serious phase of the Adriatic crisis is now ushered in, for a
new Alsace has been created; and those who point this out cannot be
charged with an excessive leaning towards the Yugoslavs. It also seems
to me that one can scarcely say they are alarmists. If Yugoslavia, in
defiance of that most immoral pressure, had declared for war, Vesnić
at the general election would have swept the country with the cry of
"War for Istria!" To his eternal honour he chose the harder path of
loyalty to the new ideas which Serbian blood has shed so freely to make
victorious. A momentary victory has now been gained by the Italians, but
not one that makes for peace. It poisons by annexations fundamentally
unjustifiable, however consecrated by treaty, the whole source of
tranquillity in the Near East. "Paciencia!" [Have patience] you say, in
refusing to give alms to a Portuguese beggar, and he follows your
advice. But when the Yugoslavs ask for a revision of the Treaty--if the
Italians do not wisely offer it themselves--it would be rash if in
attempting to foretell the future we should base ourselves upon the
premise that their patience will be everlasting. A new Alsace has been
created, an Alsace to which, in the opinion of competent observers, all
the Yugoslavs will turn until the day comes when it is honourable to set
the standards forth on a campaign of liberation.


When the Yugoslavs were at last in a position, late in 1920, to hold the
elections for the Constituent Assembly the Radicals and the Democrats
were the most successful, but even if they made a Coalition they would
still have no majority. [Now and then the Democrats asserted themselves
against the Radicals, but when the Opposition thought they could
perceive a rift the Democratic Press would write that the two parties
were most intimately joined to one another, and especially the
Democrats.] The small parties were very numerous, the smallest being
that of M. Ribarac, the old Liberal leader, who found himself in the
Skupština with nobody to lead; the clericals of Slovenia came to
grief, a fact which appeared to give general satisfaction, and a similar
mishap befell the decentralizing parties of Croatia. On the other hand
the Croat Peasants' party, whose decentralization ideas were more
extreme, had a very considerable success, and the Communist party, whose
fall we have already described, had come to the Skupština with some
fifty members.


The temporary triumph of the Communists was admittedly due to the
exceptional position in which the country found itself. They had in Sima
Marković an enthusiastic leader who has abandoned the teaching of
mathematics in order to expound the gospel of Moscow, and in the
Skupština the shrill, voice of this kindly, bald-headed little man
had to be raised to its uttermost capacity, for most of his
fellow-members were unwilling to be taught. It so happens that he is
Pašić's godson, and on one occasion when the little Communist was
talking with great vehemence the old gentleman, who was turning over the
pages of some document, was heard by an appreciative House to murmur:
"Oh, be still, my child, be still!" But the most unfortunate episode in
Marković's oratory was when he expressed the hope that Communism
would rage through the country like an epidemic, forgetting for the
moment that those municipalities which had gone over to Communism had
won general praise for their improvements in the sanitary sphere.
Largely on account of this infelicitous simile he was replaced in the
leadership by another, a less vigorous and less entertaining person. And
this party stood in particular need of attractive champions.

The Croat Peasants' party, or the Radić party, as it came to be
called, gave to its beloved chief more than half the seats in Croatia,
forty-nine out of ninety-three; and the whole party refused to go to

"Would it not have been better," I asked him, "if you had gone? The
Constitution will be settled without you."


"We had various reasons," said he, "for not going. One of them was that
the Assembly which laid down the Constitution was not sovereign. For
example, it was not permitted to discuss whether Yugoslavia should be a
monarchy or a republic. I admit that three-quarters of the members would
very likely have voted for a monarchy, and in that case we should have
accepted the situation very much as do the royalist deputies in the
French Parliament."

"What are your own views on this subject?"

"Well," said he, "for this period of transition I believe--mark you,
this only applies to myself--that a monarchy is not merely acceptable
but preferable. On the other hand the Croat peasant was so badly treated
by the Habsburgs that he will now hear of nothing but a republic."

I ventured to say that this sudden conversion to republican ideas in one
who for centuries had lived in a monarchy was peculiar, and Radić
acknowledged that when the first republican cries were raised at a
meeting of the Peasants' party on July 25, 1918 they came to him as a
revelation, one which he accepted.

"You don't accept everything that your peasants shout for?"

"I do not," said he. "There was a gentleman who asked them at a meeting
whether they would kill him if he, elected as their representative, were
to go to Belgrade. They shouted back that they would do so. And when the
prospective candidate came to tell me this story, thinking that I would
be delighted, I told him that a ship's captain cannot have his hands
bound before undertaking a voyage and he must therefore withdraw his
candidature.... When the time comes we will go to Belgrade."

"And those who say that you are longing for the return of the

He gripped my arm. "They are fools," said he. "We are looking forward as
eagerly as the great Bishop Strossmayer to the union of the Southern
Slavs. According to the spirit of his time he began at the top, with
academies, picture galleries and so forth. We prefer to begin with
elementary schools." And bubbling with enthusiasm he told me of the
efforts his party was making. It was plain to see that what lies nearest
to his heart is to improve their social and economic status. And those
observers are probably in the right, who believe that he merely uses
this republican cry as a weapon which he will conveniently drop when it
has served its purpose.

"If only Yugoslavia had a great statesman," said I, "who would weld the
new State together, so that the Croats remain with the Serbs not alone
for the reasons that they are both Southern Slavs and that they are
surrounded by not over-friendly neighbours. The great statesman--perhaps
it will be Pašić--will make you all happy to come together."

"From the bottom of my heart I hope he will succeed," said Radić,
"and he will be remembered as our second and more fortunate

We generally imagine that the statesmen of South-Eastern Europe are a
collection of rather swarthy, frock-coated personages who, when not
engaged in decrying each other, are very busily occupied in feathering
their own nests. If any one of them, at the outset of his career, had a
sense of humour we suppose that in this heated atmosphere it must have
long ago evaporated. But strangely enough, the two most prominent
politicians in Yugoslavia, the venerable Pašić, the Prime Minister
of this new State of Serbs and Croats and Slovenes, even as he used for
years to be the autocrat of Serbia, and his opponent Stephen Radić
are, both of them, by the grace of God, of a humorous disposition.
Outwardly, there is not much resemblance between them: Pašić, the
picture of a benevolent patriarch, letting fall in his deep voice a few
casual words which bring down his critics' case, hopelessly down like a
wounded aeroplane, and Radić the fervid little orator, the learned
man, whose life has been devoted to the Croat peasants and who is said
to find it difficult to make a speech that is under eight hours in
length. Last year when the vigorous Pribičević, then Minister of
the Interior, who is determined to compel the Serbs and the Croats
straightway to live in the closest companionship, whereas Radić,
supported by most of the Croat _intelligentsia_, argues that in view of
their very different culture, the Serbs having enjoyed a Byzantine and
the Croats an Austrian education, it would be advisable for these two
branches of the South Slav nation to come gradually and not violently
together,--last year when Radić was lying in prison on account of his
subversive ideas Pribičević sent a message to say that he was
prepared to adopt half his programme. And Radić sent back word
regretting that the Minister could not adopt the whole of it and thus
obtain for himself the Peasants' party. It is wrong to assert that this
party is unpatriotic; the enemies of Yugoslavia, who welcome in Radić
a disruptive element, are totally in error. Years ago he was working for
the eventual union of Serbs and Croats--the Austrians imprisoned him
because in 1903 he went to Belgrade at the accession of King Peter and
made an admirable speech to this effect--and his present attitude is due
to the impatient manner in which Mr. Pribičević and his friends
are endeavouring to bring the union about. His peasants are a
conservative people; they cannot instantly dispel the anti-Serb ideas
which the Austrians for ever inculcated, nor the negative anti-Serb
frame of mind which they learned from their own _intelligentsia_. It
will take a little time before the Catholic peasant realizes that the
Orthodox Serb is his brother and that now his military service will not
be in an alien army, but in his own. "Let us go slowly," says Radić,
"with our peasants"; and he knows them very well.... One is told that he
changes his opinions from hour to hour; he is certainly very impetuous,
very much under the influence of his emotions; but in one thing he has
never varied--he has always struggled for the Croat peasant, and he has
been rewarded by the unbounded devotion of that faithful, rather
incoherent, creature.

Now the Serbs are a democratic people; they are by their nature in
opposition to any force, civil or military, which might attempt to make
the monarchy more absolute. The wisest Serbs do not forget that in the
peasant lies their principal wealth, and although as yet the Serbian
Peasants' party does not hold many constituencies in the old kingdom,
nevertheless it appears to have a brighter prospect than any other
Serbian party, for in that country the revolt against the
lawyer-politician is likely to be more efficacious than in France or
England. One may look forward to an understanding between Radić and
this Serbian party, which is only two or three years old, although its
founder, the excellent Avramović--an elderly gentleman who sits
behind vast barricades of books in various languages--has devoted
himself for many years to agrarian co-operative societies, of which in
Serbia there are more than 1500.

The most uncertain factors seem to be the moderating hold of Radić
over his peasants and over himself. No one doubts but that he has the
interests of the peasant very much at heart, and if he succeeds in
improving the peasant's lot then that grateful giant will presumably not
sink again into the sleep which he enjoyed when he was under the
Habsburgs. The circulation of Radić's weekly paper _Dom_[62] ("The
Home") has risen from 2000 before the elections and 9000 during the
elections to 30,000. One enterprising vendor, a Serb from the Banat,
takes 500 copies a week and tramps over the countryside, disposing of
his wares either for cash or for eggs, the latter of which he sells at
the end of the week to a Zagreb hotel. The peasant is making great
efforts to raise himself--a case has recently been brought to light of a
farmer in Zagorija who, as a hobby, has taught more than 700 persons to
read and write. The peasant perceives that he has been assisted far less
by the Catholic Church than by the work of Radić. It is not unfair to
say that the Church desired, above all things, to keep the peasant
under her control. If a parish priest was disliked by his flock, so a
prominent Croatian priest tells me, that was all the more reason why the
Bishop refused to remove him. And the clergy, except for an enlightened
minority, have been very much opposed to Radić's policy of
democratizing the Church.... In return for his unceasing labours he has
now secured the peasant's love and confidence. He will retain them if he
satisfies his client, and it seems to be within his power--gaining for
him a better position and dissuading him from fantastic demands. He can
be of immense assistance in the task of building up the State. But will
the brilliant flame within him burn with steadiness? Has he got
sufficient strength of will? With all his qualities of heart and brain
he has not managed to discard his zig-zag impetuosity. The peasants, who
recognize his talents, ask him to captain the ship; but he runs down too
often into his cabin and leaves the unskilled sailors on the bridge.
Down in the cabin he is feverishly and with great skill writing a
contradiction of a pronouncement he made yesterday.

Those who are openly sailing in Radić's boat are for the most part
the hard-headed peasants. Yet a number of the _intelligentsia_ are
coming on board--some of them, no doubt, with a view to their own
advancement, but others on account of their convictions. And a still
greater number of the Croat _intelligentsia_ look on him with
sympathy--municipal officials, barristers, doctors, merchants,
schoolmasters and military officers. It is most foolish to pretend that
all these people are thinking regretfully of the old Habsburg days--they
are, in the vast majority, sincere and loyal Yugoslavs who have certain
grievances. They do not believe that Croatia has fared very well since
the institution of the new State and it would seem wise to give them as
much autonomy as is consonant with the interests of the whole country,
for then they will only have themselves to blame if there is no
improvement. Maybe they are unduly sensitive, but they were for many
years in political warfare with the Magyars and this should be taken
into consideration. Even if all the grievances are based on
misconceptions, on the difficulties of the moment, on the circumstances
of the fading past--the new generation of Croats, say their teachers,
are growing up to be excellent Yugoslavs--yet an effort should be made
to sweep them away.

When Belgrade makes a statesmanlike gesture then Radić will probably
be able to persuade the peasants to abandon their republican
slogan--both they and the _intelligentsia_ will abandon their reserved
attitude towards the Government which they were far from entertaining
when the State was first established. It seems as if the role of
conciliator may well be filled by that wise old man, Nicholas
Pašić, who is now no longer a mere Balkan Premier. When he was
that he very properly used Balkan methods, despite the stern remarks of
a few Western critics.


We have alluded to the relations between Serbs and Croats. This is a
subject of such importance that it will be well to consider it more
fully. When Yugoslavia sprang into existence at the end of the War--70
per cent. of this State having previously been under the rule of the
House of Habsburg--it was met in various quarters with a grudging
welcome. Soon, we were told, it would dissolve again, and every symptom
of internal discontent was treated as a proof of this. On the other hand
there were those who told us that the Southern Slavs, having come
together after all these hundreds of years, were tightly clasped in each
others' arms and that all reports to the contrary came from very
interested parties.

Little was said of the Slovenes; their language, as we have mentioned,
is not the same as that spoken by Serbs and Croats, and--what is of
still greater importance--they have Slovenia to themselves. If Croatia
were equally immune from Serbs, then by this time the Southern Slavs
would be a more united nation. Those people were wrong who fancied that
the presence of the Serbs in Croatia--they form between one-fourth and
one-third of the population--would be of service in welding together the
new State. They forgot that for many years the Austro-Hungarian
Government had in Croatia played off the Roman Catholic Croats against
the Orthodox Serbs. The two Slav brothers were incited to mutual hatred,
and though such a propaganda would naturally have more effect among the
uneducated classes, yet all too often the _intelligentsia_ responded to
these machinations. More favour, of course, was shown to the Croats,
whose obedience could largely be secured by means of the Church, whereas
no similar pressure could be brought to bear upon the Orthodox Serbs.
Even if the Government approached the Orthodox clergy, these latter had
only a very moderate control over their flock. A Serb is always ready to
subscribe towards the erection of a new church, which he regards as most
other nations regard their flag; but when it is built he rarely enters
it. This being so, the Austro-Hungarian Government tyrannized over the
Serbs in Croatia by measures taken against their schools, the Cyrillic
alphabet and so forth. It was natural that the suffering Serbs were apt
to compare these restrictions with those that were imposed upon the
Croats. However, among the _intelligentsia_ an effort--a fairly
successful effort--was made to nullify this dividing policy; the
Serbo-Croat Coalition was formed, one of the protagonists being Svetozar
Pribičević, that very energetic Serb of Croatia, and in 1906 this
party obtained no less than sixty-eight seats, while the power of the
older Croat parties was correspondingly diminished and Radić had his
very small following in the Zagreb Lantag. [Those who represented
Croatia in the central Parliament at Buda-Pest were chosen by the Ban,
Khuen-Hedérváry. Those forty members had practically no acquaintance
with the Magyar language, so that some of them drew their 8000 annual
crowns and only went to Pest if an important division was expected,
others who spent more time in the capital wasted their lives amid
surroundings just as riotous as and more expensive than the Parliament,
while only those did useful work who managed to confer, behind the
scenes, with the authorities. To some extent this was done by
Pribičević and to a greater extent by another Serb, Dr. Dušan
Popović, who surpassed him in capacity and geniality. It was he, by
the way, who demonstrated in the Buda-Pest Parliament that if the
average Croat deputy was ignorant of the Magyar language, there was a
greater ignorance of Serbo-Croatian on the part of the Magyars. One day
when he had started on a speech in his native tongue he was howled down
after he had explained that he was talking Serbian. He promised to
continue in Croatian, and did so without being interrupted.]

At Zagreb the fusion of the Croat and Serb _intelligentsia_ was still
very incomplete at the outbreak of the War--the Croat Starčevist
party and others going their own way. During the War the
Austro-Hungarian Government ruled by means of the Coalition party; but
the latter had no choice, and throughout Croatia they were never charged
with infidelity to the Slav cause. They did whatever their delicate
situation permitted; and in October 1918, when the Slavs of Croatia and
Slovenia threw off the yoke of centuries and joined with the Serbs of
Serbia and Montenegro, one hoped that the simultaneous arrival in
Belgrade of the Coalition and the Starčevist leaders heralded in
Croatia a cessation of the ancient hostility. Pribičević became
Minister of the Interior in the new State, and very soon it was obvious
that he meant to govern in a centralizing fashion, despite his earlier
assurance that no such steps would be taken without the sanction of the
Constituent Assembly. No doubt his motives were unimpeachable; he feared
lest the negative, anti-Serb mentality, which for so long had flourished
among the Croats, would not, except by drastic methods, be removed. He
was met with opposition. Now you see, he cried, there are still in
Croatia a number of disloyal Slavs, great landowners, Catholic clergy
and others whom the Habsburgs used to favour. And he continued, with
hundreds of edicts, to try to weld the State together. Consumed with
patriotism, his great black eyes on flame amid the pallor of his
face--his luminous and martyred face, to use the expression of his
friends--he never for a moment relaxed his efforts; if those who opposed
him were numerous it was all the more reason why he must be resolute.
The rôle fitted him very well, for he is the dourest politician in
Yugoslavia--a perfectly honest, upright, injudicious patriot. His
Democratic party had now taken the place of the Serbo-Croat Coalition
and it saw the other parties in Croatia gradually drifting back again
from it or rather from the dominating man; if his place had been
occupied by his afore-mentioned colleague, the burly and beloved
Dušan Popović, there would have been in Zagreb a very much suaver
atmosphere. But unfortunately Popović is a wealthy man, a highly
successful lawyer who cares little for the tumult of politics.... It was
a thorny problem, whether the State should be constituted on a federal
or a centralized basis.[63] The federation of the United States depends
on the centralization of political parties, whereas in Yugoslavia the
parties have only just begun to combine. Feudalism in the German Empire
rested on the predominance of Prussia, a position which the Serbs are,
under present conditions, loth to occupy in Yugoslavia. In Germany,
moreover, many of the States used to be independent, while in Yugoslavia
this was only the case with Serbia and Montenegro. Centralism would tend
to obliterate the tribal divisions, but on the other hand it brings in
its train bureaucracy, which is slow, cumbrous and often corrupt; it
demands unusually good central institutions and first-rate
communications, neither of which are as yet in a satisfactory state. The
constitution has arrived at a compromise between the federal and the
centralized systems. A writer in the _Contemporary Review_ (November
1921) said that the division of the whole of Yugoslavia into some
twenty administrative areas [he should have said thirty-three] to
replace the racial areas, was a very drastic proposal to put forward;
and he added that when the historic provincial divisions of France were
broken up into departments, the nation had been prepared by nearly 200
years of centralization under the monarchy. It is a flaw in his argument
to say that the previously existing areas were racial, whereas
populations of identical race were divided from one another by the
course of events. And in the proposed obliteration of these
divisions--to be effected in a less arbitrary fashion than in France,
where no account was taken of the former provinces--it can scarcely be
maintained that, of itself, this part of the centralizing programme in
Yugoslavia is so very drastic.

Whatever one may think about the Balkan peoples it is a fact that the
essential Serb, the Serb from Šumadia, is a pacific person, rather
lazy perhaps, but certainly more devoted to dancing than to battle. And
some of the wiser Serbs were dubious in 1919 and 1920 as to whether the
most sagacious methods were being employed in Croatia. Radić was in
prison, but they were told that this impetuous demagogue was insisting
on a republic, and the Croat _intelligentsia_ were far from happy. It is
true that in the elections of November 1920 the National party, as the
Starčevists now called themselves, had no great success; but the
Radić party had more than half the seats. Surely this had not been
brought about merely by the chief's imprisonment? There seemed to be in
that province some wider, some growing dissatisfaction. And in the
spring of 1921 most of the Catholic Croats, those within and those
without the Radić party, were nourishing a score of grievances. No
doubt a large proportion of these were unavoidable (in view of the state
of Central Europe) or were rather trivial (the mayor of an important
town told me that he, who was under the Minister of the Interior, had
received an order from the Belgrade Minister of War, with respect to the
detention of deserters--conditions, said he, were not so primitive in
the Austro-Hungarian monarchy) and sometimes the grievances were against
the Habsburgs (for not having made them more fit to assume these new
responsibilities), and sometimes they were against the Serbs for being
less civilized--though they might be more moral--than themselves, and
sometimes the grievances were personal: now and then after the Austrian
collapse a Serbian officer or his men, uncertain of the feelings of the
population, had acted with unwise, or rather with inexpedient,
vigour--instead of shooting those who in the general anarchy were laying
waste and plundering, they merely flogged them, and this was for a long
time remembered against them, although the Croat _intelligentsia_ who
had taken service in the police flogged in a far more wholesale fashion.
But down at the bottom of all the grievances there is the fundamental
fact that the Southern Slavs yearn to be comrades, to shake off the
differences which in the course of ages have grown up between them.
These fraternal sentiments may be crudely expressed--it has happened
that a Slav from Bosnia (whose ancestors adopted Islam some centuries
ago) finds himself in a Serbian village. He strikes up acquaintance with
some native. "What is your name?" asks the latter. "Muhammed." The Serb
has never heard of such a name; he is puzzled. "Well, never mind," says
he, and takes his new friend back to dinner. They sit down to the
sucking pig. Muhammed refuses to partake of it, and informs the Serb
that Allah would be angry. "Don't be afraid," says the Serb; "I'll tell
him that it's my fault," and after a time he overcomes the Bosniak's
scruples.... In more cultured circles the wonderful union of the
Southern Slavs is manifested after a different fashion, and those
neighbours who imagine that the afore-mentioned grievances are going to
dissolve the new State will one day see how much they are mistaken. The
Southern Slavs intend to quarrel with each other, to quarrel like


As between the Catholic and the Orthodox in Croatia the sole uncertainty
is whether this fusion will shortly take place or after an interval. It
is agreed by the most malcontent schoolmasters that their pupils are
growing up to be excellent Yugoslavs who will have no more fear of what
they call "Serb hegemony" than have the Scots of that of England. As for
the present generation of Croats and Serbs, if they were Occidentals
they would be old enough to laugh at each others' peculiarities and each
others' statesmen. But South-Eastern Europe is still under the morning
clouds, and they are inclined to take seriously what we in the West make
fun of. However, there is one man whose presence in the Cabinet the
Croats cannot be expected to regard with good-humour or with
nonchalance. The reconciliation of Croatia will be much more easily
effected if Mr. Pribičević resigns. His merits as a demagogue and
political writer are undeniable. He would make an excellent Whip. But he
prefers to be a Minister, and most unfortunately he is not a statesman.
A zealous patriot, he is as yet unable to conceive that the business of
the State could be more successfully managed without him. The sweets of
office appear, if anything, to have made him more bitter; and even among
the Serbs of the old kingdom his withdrawal is considered advisable. A
friend of his has told me that in the middle of a laughing conversation
he threw out a hint of this, and like a cloud blown suddenly across a
summer sky, Pribičević's face grew black. Unhappily he is not even
Fortinbras and yet imagines he is Hamlet. A good many people in
Yugoslavia call him _un homme fatal_, most of the others _l'homme
fatal_. It is said that in the Democratic party he is actively supported
by not more than ten deputies, but that the others, to preserve the
party, take no steps. He himself, however, would probably have not the
least hesitation in choosing another party, if he could otherwise not
stay in the Cabinet; for his permanence in office is the one idea that
crushes every other from his mind. If he cannot be Minister of the
Interior--a post from which he has been more than once, and happily for
Yugoslavia, ejected--then he insists on being Minister of Education.
What are his qualifications? Years ago he gave instruction at a school
for elementary teachers, and so faint a conception has he of the
educational needs of his country that one day when a Professor of
Belgrade University asked him if no steps could be taken to diminish the
prohibitive cost of books, especially foreign books, the Minister
simply stared at him as if he had been talking Chinese. And yet in a
recent book of national verses, published by his brother Adam, we are
told that:

    "At the table also sat the sage Pribičević,
     Who can converse with Emperors...."

There are some who, curiously, have compared Radić's party with the
Sinn Feiners; Radić may have announced that he would approach the
Serbs as the representative of an independent country, but he never
proposed, even when his views were most extreme, to realize them with
physical force. At a great open-air meeting of his adherents the
speeches were so mild that only twice did the Chief of Police, who was
next to me, raise a warning finger, and on each occasion to keep the
orator from very innocent digressions. Nevertheless, there is no
concealing the fact that even in these unsatisfactory times--"It seems
to me," said a philosophic peasant recently at Valjevo, in the heart of
Serbia, "it seems to me that if we had a plebiscite then Valjevo might
not wish to remain with Serbia!"--even in a world that is so awry the
Croats are more reserved towards the union than is good for the State.
Perhaps they would cherish fewer grievances if they had gained their
freedom with greater difficulty; and surely they need have no more
uneasiness than have the Scots that their name and nationality will be
swamped, for what the Magyars were unable to do, that the Serbs do not
wish to do. There are among the Serbs a few extremists, such as a
pernicious editor or two, but their anti-Croat tirades find extremely
little favour anywhere. Last autumn when the Prince-Regent (now King
Alexander) visited the Croat capital his reception was most
enthusiastic. "Let us keep him here!" cried the people, "and let King
Peter stay in Belgrade!" The Prince by his tact brought the Croat out of
his tent; he must not be allowed to go back again--let the Southern
Slavs observe what each of their provinces can bring towards the common
good. The Croats acknowledge that the military system of Serbia is more
endurable--only one son is taken out of each family--and that whereas in
Slovenia a lawsuit can be settled in fourteen days it has been wont in
Croatia to take as many years. Unfortunately human nature, in Serbia,
Croatia and everywhere else, finds that the bad points of other people
are more worthy of comment than the good. When two brothers have been
brought up in very different circumstances there will be so many points
on which they differ; and when a Serb taking part in a technical
discussion of scientists wishes to say that he differs from the previous
speaker he will commonly observe that that person has made a fool of
himself. When an editor alludes to a political opponent he may call him
an assassin and be much astonished if this is resented. "Je suis un
ours," said a Serbian savant of European repute; occasionally he behaves
like one and is rather proud of it. The Serbs of Croatia have been
imitating, nay exaggerating, the emphatic manners of their countrymen in
the old kingdom. And Pribičević, as Minister of Education, has not
attempted to give the Croats a tactful course in courage, patriotism and
morality, where they have much to learn from the less civilized Serbs,
but scowling at them he has made up his mind that, in and out of school,
they must straightway be the closest of companions.

However, the Serbs and Croats have a man whose counsel is more worthy of
attention. Dr. Trumbić, formerly the Minister of Foreign Affairs, had
been elected at the head of four different lists in his native Dalmatia
but had entered the Constituent Assembly without giving his allegiance
to any party. And in April 1921 he made a speech as memorable as it was
long, for it occupied the whole of one sitting and was continued the
next day. Careless of the applause and the antagonism which he excited,
the serene orator pointed out that the conflict between Serbs and Croats
was based on their different psychology. Croatia had had her independent
life and must be considered as a factor in Yugoslavia; but having come
in, like Montenegro, of her own accord, she had not wished to be a
separate factor. Traditions should not be so lightly set aside; and
while there was perhaps no people more homogeneous than the Yugoslavs it
should be remembered that none was more ready to resist the application
of force.


Except at Kolašin, where a few friends of Nikita tried their brigand
tactics, there was perfect calm in Montenegro during the elections. As
elsewhere in Yugoslavia, there was a general amnesty and a prohibition,
for the three preceding days, to sell wine or rakia. The ten elected
candidates, all of them for the Yugoslav union and against Nikita, were
equally divided between Radicals and Democrats on the one hand and
Communists and Republicans on the other. The authorities took not the
slightest step to favour any candidate; various prominent deputies, such
as Dr. Yoyić, the Minister of Food Supply, were beaten. And in a
letter to the Press we were told by Mr. Ronald M'Neill, M.P., that these
elections were certainly both "farcical and fraudulent." He is
contradicted by Mr. Roland Bryce, who, after his excellent work on the
Allied Plebiscite Commission in Carinthia, was sent by the Foreign
Office with Major L. E. Ottley to report on the Montenegrin elections.
He says (in Command Paper I., 124) that "in actual practice the method
of voting prescribed by the electoral law was found to ensure absolute
secrecy (the system adopted being the only feasible one in a country
where the proportion of illiterates is great), and the manner in which
the ballot was supervised and carried out was unimpeachable and proof
against the most exacting criticism." Mr. M'Neill is also contradicted
by the Republican candidate, M. Gjonović, who in a manifesto drawn up
after the election declares that "none can say that the elections were
not free, or that anyone who wished could not make up a list. At the
elections only the lists and boxes of the Republicans, Democrats,
Independents, Radicals and Communists were represented. All of these
parties had in their programmes the motto 'The people and State union,'
with, of course, different points of view and different opinions as to
the organization of our national and State forces, except the
Communists, who go further and desire the union of all peoples."


It will thus be seen that the friends of Nikita were altogether wrong in
suggesting that those who voted for the Republicans or Communists were
opposed to the union with Serbia in Yugoslavia. Both Republicans and
(paradoxical though it sounds) the Communists resented this insinuation
very bitterly; and considering that the leaders of both parties are
pronounced antagonists of the old régime, and were indeed severally
condemned to death by Nikita, it would have been strange if they now
supported him. Thus every single programme put forward by the different
parties included, in some form or other, union with Serbia. The
candidates themselves explicitly said so; but Mr. M'Neill knows better,
and informs us how very hostile to the Serbs they really were. He is a
wonderful man, Mr. M'Neill. Standing up in the House of Commons he
directs his penetrating gaze upon the Black Mountain, and with such
effect that he can see in the minds of Montenegrin politicians what they
themselves had never dreamed of. Since we have such a man as Mr. M'Neill
in the country, one would think that the Foreign Office might have saved
itself the expense of sending out Mr. Bryce and Major Ottley.

But since we have it, let us look at Mr. Bryce's very interesting and
detailed report. After explaining that both Republicans and Communists
were in favour of union with Serbia, he tells us how it happened that so
many people voted for these two lists instead of for the orthodox
Radical and Democratic parties. The Communists, according to Mr. Bryce,
were benefited by a party organization, a vigorous canvass and a better
discipline than that of any of their opponents. Their policy won the
support of many ardent and very patriotic Nationalists, who voted in
many cases for Communism on the ground that it was the Russian
policy--out of gratitude for what the Tzars had done for Montenegro in
the past! Major Temperley, assistant military attaché, in another report
(Command Paper I., 123) observes that some local discontent had arisen
in Montenegro because the native does not understand, and has never
experienced before, a really efficient system of government, and
because the introduction of conscription was not well adapted to the
national tradition of lawless and untrained vigour. Major Temperley
testifies that the Republican party gained the suffrages of numerous
returned emigrants who admired the state of things in America. He shares
Mr. Bryce's opinion as to the insignificance of the pro-Nikita party.
"Even making large allowances," says he, "there seemed to me to be no
doubt that the pro-Nicholas party were the weakest in Montenegro."
Certain of his devotees were simply brigands who, like the Neapolitan
miscreants after 1860, sought to cast a glamour over their depredations
by affecting to be in arms on behalf of their former King. This
personage himself was so well aware of his unpopularity that he was
prudent enough to tell his supporters to abstain from voting. Those who
did abstain were altogether only 32·69 per cent. of the electors, though
one would have been justified in expecting a much higher proportion,
since the people have not yet fully grasped their rights and duties with
respect to the franchise; the distances to the booths were often very
great, and the peasants were often indifferent as to whether one
candidate or another with a very similar programme should be elected.
The tribal or family system is still so prevalent in the villages that
one member of a family would be sent to express the considered views of
his fellows. The effect of the elections being held on a Sunday was to
increase rather than diminish the number of abstainers, for although
Sunday is a public holiday the Christian Montenegrin is under no
obligation to hear Mass and for that reason travel to the village. The
churches are practically deserted, for he is accustomed on that day to
remain at home; while the Moslem voters largely declined to vote because
there were no Moslem candidates. That is why it would appear that those
of the 32·69 per cent. who abstained because they were in favour of
Nikita were extremely few. Their simple-mindedness has its limits, while
that of good Mr. M'Neill believes that because France, Great Britain and
America undertook to restore Montenegrin independence, they were still
obliged to do so after they perceived at the conclusion of the War that
an overwhelming majority of Montenegrins did not desire it. This
majority dethroned its traitor-king; but Mr. M'Neill maintains that
France and England have dethroned "a monarch who was a friend and an
ally."[64] Because M. Poincaré, in the days before the Montenegrins had
rejected Nikita, addressed him as "Very Dear and Great Friend"--the
ordinary form of words for a reigning monarch--Mr. M'Neill actually
seems to think that France was for evermore compelled to clasp Nikita to
her bosom. He clearly admires those who, since the end of the War, have
risen in the cause of their old King; and I suppose that in consequence
he disapproves of the Omladina, the voluntary association of men who
banded themselves together to resist the terrorism of the pro-King
komitadjis. If he had been in Montenegro during the years after the War
he would possibly agree that komitadji is the proper name for the many
lawless elements who have found the traditional fighting life more
congenial than the thankless task of tilling their very barren land. The
moral effect of opposing to these the Montenegrin Omladina instead of
Serbian troops was to destroy all pretence of the movement being a
national Montenegrin insurrection against the union, and the cessation
of assistance from Italy resulted in the complete suppression of the
movement. The few outlaws who still remain at large, said Mr. Bryce in
December 1920, are in no sense political, but are merely bandits. And as
the Omladina has now no _raison d'être_ they have disbanded themselves.
Much now depends on the Constitution. If it gives them equal rights--and
naturally it will--with the other inhabitants of Yugoslavia the
Montenegrins will be content.

       *       *       *       *       *

In August 1921 the _Secolo_ of Milan sent a famous correspondent to
Montenegro. He came to much the same conclusions as Messrs. Bryce and
Temperley. Not a single political prisoner was to be found, and not one
of the ex-soldiers who returned from Gaeta had been molested. The
correspondent thought that the Serbs had been ill-advised at the
beginning to employ forcible methods against the pro-Nikita partisans
who were opposed to Yugoslavia; they should, said he, have let the pear
ripen spontaneously and fall into their lap. But now their policy had
become one of conciliation: during the last two and a half years
Montenegro had received from Belgrade for public works, pensions and
subsidies, 93 million dinars, and had paid in taxes only 5 millions.
Secondary education had been increased, and 700 Montenegrin students (of
whom 500 are allotted a monthly grant) frequent Yugoslav universities.
The fertile lands of Yugoslavia were open to Montenegrin emigration. In
fact an isolated, independent Montenegro was no longer needed. With the
disappearance of the Turk from all Serbian territory in 1913 a return to
the union of the Serbs, as in the days of Stephen Dušan, was only
hindered by historical, sentimental and, above all, by dynastic reasons.
It was sad, quoth the correspondent, that the glorious history of
Montenegro should have come to such a tame end, but her historic mission
was closed in 1913, even as that of Scotland in 1707, to the benefit of
both parties. Now the Serbs were leaving them to manage their own
affairs; many ex-Nikita officials had been confirmed in their posts,
while officers were given their old rank in the Yugoslav army. It is
unfortunate for itself that the "Near East" (of London) does not employ
so discerning a correspondent. We should then hear no more of such folly
as that which--to select one occasion out of many--caused it in November
1921 to speak about "the forcible absorption of Montenegro." And the
world may be pardoned if it is more ready to accept the observations
made on the spot by an expert Italian correspondent rather than the
futile remarks sent by the Hon. Aubrey Herbert from the House of
Commons, also in November 1921, to the _Morning Post_. This gentleman
informs us that "it was probably because the Yugoslav Government was
allowed to annex the ancient principality of Montenegro, exile its King,
and subjugate its people, without any interference from the Great
Powers, that M. Pasitch thought that he could do as he liked in
Albania." That is the sort of statement which one may treat with Matthew
Arnold's "patient, deep disdain."


On July 14, 1920, a letter marked "urgent" (No. 2047) was written by
Colonel Sani, the Chief of d'Annunzio's Cabinet, in which he confirmed
the orders which he had already given verbally, to the effect that all
the foreign elements, especially the Serbs and Croats, who "exercise an
obnoxious political influence," should be expelled from Rieka at the
earliest possible date; he mentions that this is the command of
d'Annunzio, who is in full accord with the President of the Consiglio
Nazionale. This was the continuation of a practice which the Italian
authorities had carried on in a wholesale manner. Father J. N.
Macdonald, in his unimpeachable little book, _A Political Escapade_
(London, 1921), gives us numerous examples of persons who in the most
wanton fashion were expelled from the town. Thus a merchant called
Pliskovac was arrested by the carabinieri, while talking to some English
soldiers. After three days, spent under arrest, he was told that he
would have to depart "from Italy" (_sic_). He was given a _faglio di via
obligatorio_ by the carabinieri, according to which he was banished on
the ground of being "unemployed." Yet this man had had a fixed residence
in Rieka for thirty-six years, was employed as a merchant, and furnished
with a regular industrial certificate.... His name had been found on one
of the lists in favour of annexation to Yugoslavia. When the world in
general turned its attention away from Rieka, very much relieved to
think that there would be an end to all the turmoil now that an
agreement had at last been reached and the poor harassed place was to be
neutral, it presumed that those among her citizens who had been openly
in arms against the other party would as soon as possible resign. They
would have been astonished to be told that the notorious self-elected
Consiglio Nazionale Italiano, under the selfsame President, Mr.
Grossich, cheerfully remained in office. It is true that they now called
themselves the "Provisional Government"; in Paris and London this change
of title made a good deal more impression than upon the local Yugoslavs,
whose treatment did not vary. A decree was printed on January 21, 1921,
in the _Vedetta_, which laid it down that the expulsions ordered by the
previous Government retained their force, but that appeals might be
addressed to the Rector of the Interior. A deputation was received by
this gentleman, and was told that the procedure would be so complicated
and so lengthy that it would not permit any one to return until after
the elections. These elections had been fixed for the end of April, and
it seemed as if France and England were so blinded by the blessed words
"Provisional Government" that they could see nothing else. That over
2000 arditi, clothed in mufti, had either stayed from the d'Annunzian
era or been since introduced was surely gossip, and how could anyone
believe that those men had been granted citizenship on the simple
declaration of a Rieka shopkeeper, or some such person, that the
applicant worked under him? These declarations, by the way, must have
refrained from going into details, for there was an almost total lack of
work--except in the political department of the police. Rieka was to all
intents in the possession of Italy, and she was learning what that
meant. The town was like a dead place, shops were only open in the
morning, and if the shopkeepers had not been compelled by the
authorities to remove their shutters they would have strolled down to
the quays where the grass was growing--"but, thank Heaven," cried
Grossich, "thank Heaven, it is Italian grass!" (If he ever recalls that
long-distant day, when, as a student, he fought for his fellow-Croats,
and when, as a young doctor, he was an enthusiastic official of the
Croat Club at Castua near Rieka, perhaps this gentleman thanks his God
for having led him to Rieka and turned him into an Italian.) Cut off
from its Yugoslav hinterland the population of Rieka, which consisted
more and more of arditi and fascisti, less and less of Yugoslavs, the
population had nothing to do save to speculate in the rate of exchange
(but not in the local notes which no one wanted) and to prepare for the
elections. Thus, with time very heavy on their hands, there was a great
deal of corruption; cocaine could be obtained at nearly all the cafés.
The elections drew nearer, and one wondered whether the Entente was
going to look at the lists of voters and to inquire how it came that
many natives of the town were not inscribed. What was likely to happen
if the place was delivered altogether to the C.N.I. could be seen when
the harbour of Baroš, given by the Rapallo Treaty to Yugoslavia, was
demanded, simply demanded, by the Italian Nationalists; those
ultra-patriots the fascisti, in Italy and in Rieka, when they saw that
in the "holocaust city" everything was going just as well for them as in
the brave days of d'Annunzio, persisted loudly in claiming Baroš as
an integral part of Rieka. The Yugoslavs must be prevented, wherever
possible, from approaching the Adriatic--this being the furious policy
of the Italian capitalists who had succeeded in sweeping most of the
Italian people off their feet. With Baroš, a port of limited
possibilities, in the hands of the Yugoslavs, it would mean that the
adjacent Rieka through its Yugoslav commerce would prosper; but anything
that savoured of a Yugoslav Rieka was obnoxious to the capitalists and
their wild followers, since they feared that in the first place it would
raise a grievous obstacle to their penetration of the Balkans, and
secondly it would involve the ruin of Triest, where German capital still
plays a predominant part. So in their folly they strenuously fought for
the Germans, spurred on by the terrible thought that Rieka might become
predominantly Yugoslav. They refused to listen to their wiser men, who
pointed out that the possession of an odd town or island was to Italy of
not so much importance as friendship with their Slav neighbours. When,
at the beginning of April 1921 a large sailing boat, the _Rad_ (Captain
Vlaho Grubišić) came into Baroš, the first ship to bring the
Yugoslav flag to that port, there was intense commotion among the
fascisti. Forty of them with weapons ran down to the harbour, but
Grubišić told them that he saw no reason why he should not fly the
flag of his State. A number of workmen, Italians and Yugoslavs, then
appeared and made common cause against the fascisti, so that the latter
withdrew. And the captain of the Italian warship _Carlo Mirabello_ sent
to ask Grubišić if he had removed the flag. On hearing that he had
not done so the captain said that he had acted perfectly correctly. It
seems to be too much to hope that such honourable Italians as this
captain and these workmen will be able, without certain measures on the
part of France and England, to prevail over those elements who have
dragged Rieka down to death and to dishonour.

At last, on April 25, the elections were held. There were two parties,
that of the C.N.I., swollen with arditi and fascisti, who would have
nothing to do with the Treaty of Rapallo--their programme consisted in
annexation to Italy--and the other party, whose object was to carry out
the provisions of the Treaty. Professor Zanella was its chief. There did
not seem to be much hope that it would be successful, although it
contained what was left of the Autonomists, who in 1919 were the largest
party--desiring that the town should be neither Yugoslav nor
Italian--and these Autonomists were now reinforced by the Yugoslavs. But
so numerous had been the expulsions that many of the survivors feared
that it would be futile to vote, and on the other hand the Annexionist
party was quite confident that it would win. During the afternoon of the
election day, however, they perceived that the impossible was happening,
and that Zanella was marching to victory. Thereupon the enraged fascisti
had recourse to violence. "Zanella's victory was intolerable to these
patriots," said _La Nazione_,[65] "because they remembered the two years
of tenacity and of splendid Italian spirit and of suffering which the
town had lived through." Most of the electors remembered the suffering.
The fascisti seized a number of urns and made a bonfire of them; there
was presented the spectacle of Signor Gigante, d'Annunzio's obedient
mayor, bursting with armed companions into that room of the Palace of
Justice where the votes were being scrutinized. "I yield to violence,"
said the presiding official; and twenty minutes afterwards the contents
of the urns were burning merrily. But these measures did not help the
cause of the fascisti, no more than did their screams that they had been
betrayed. And if Zanella had to fly from Rieka because, as the
Nationalist paper put it, he could not stand up against the vehement
indignation of so many of the citizens, yet he and his party have
triumphed. "Fiume or Death," used to be the device dear to d'Annunzio.
He placarded the long-suffering walls with it, and it was on the lapels
of the coats of his adherents. "Fiume must belong to Italy or be blown
up," cried the poet. But, strange to say, a majority of the inhabitants
prefer that their town should continue to exist, and this it can only do
if, in accordance with the Treaty of Rapallo, it becomes a neutral State
on friendly terms with both its neighbours, Italy and Yugoslavia. The
Italian Government desires, of course, to execute its Treaty
obligations,[66] and if it finds too painful the task of moderating the
ardours of its own super-patriots, it will no doubt be glad to have this
done by an International force. That method, which was only prevented by
d'Annunzio's arrival in 1919, offers the speediest and most efficacious
solution of Rieka's troubles.


If anyone imagined that they would be ended with the installation of
Zanella he was wrong. At the municipal elections 90 per cent. voted for
the Autonomist party, the Yugoslavs having had the good sense to join
them. But the Italian Nationalists were not going to yield to
moderation, and immediately after the elections Zanella was obliged to
flee for his life, so that he was not installed in office until October
5. He struggled manfully to clear away the chaos and to make such
economic arrangements as would eventually convert Rieka into a
prosperous port. This the fascisti of Triest and Venice could by no
means tolerate, and on January 31 an unsuccessful attempt was made by
them on his life as he was leaving the Constituent Assembly. On February
16 the Anai (Assoziazione Nazionale fra gli Arditi d'Italia) sent out a
very urgent message from their headquarters in the Via Macchiavelli in
Triest. They informed the subsections that not only was Zanella
preparing to deliver Rieka to the Croats, but that the army of the
"globe-trotter" Wrangel was waiting in Sušak to seize the wretched
town. Therefore Gabriele d'Annunzio had commanded that every loyal
servant of the cause was to be mobilized. And after a few rhetorical
sentences it continued, "I will give the marching orders by telegram as
follows: 'Send the documents. Farina.' If only a small number of people
are needed I will telegraph, 'Send ... Quintal. Farina.'" The men were
to assemble at the Italian Labour Bureau, 9 Via Pozza Bianca in Triest.
They were to be clad in mufti, to be armed so far as it was possible and
to have with them three days' provender.... The subsections are asked to
telegraph the approximate number of those on whom they can rely. And
this memorandum should be acknowledged. It is signed, "With brotherly
greetings. Farina Salvatore." About ten days later--between February 26
and 28--there was a meeting at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, under the
presidency of Vilim Stipetić, formerly a major of the Austrian
General Staff. Some dissident Croats--among them Dr. Emanuel Gagliardi,
Captains Cankl and Petričević, Gjuro Klišurić, Josip Boldin
and Major-General Ištvanović--two dissident Montenegrins, Jovo
Plamenac and Marko Petrović, together with two Italian officers,
adherents of d'Annunzio, Colonel Finzi of Triest and Major Ventura of
Rome, ... assembled for the purpose of stirring up trouble for the
Yugoslavs in the spring. They referred with pleasure to the presence of
sundry Bulgarian komitadjis in Albania, Finzi declared that the Italian
Government would satisfy the Croats and give them Rieka as soon as
Croatia had achieved her independence and a less visionary promise was
made of disturbances in Rieka. On March 1 the two Italian officers left
for Triest and on March 3 Rieka was confronted with another _coup
d'état_. The fascisti of Triest and of Gulia Venetia descended on the
town in two special trains of the Italian State Railway. They had not
the slightest confidence in Zanella, who was an honest man, working on
the basis of the Treaty of Rapallo, whereby Italy and Yugoslavia
recognized the Free State of Rieka. In their eyes it was a monstrous
thing that Italy should be expected to observe this instrument. So let
the town be freed, let Zanella be expelled. And as he only had at his
disposal a force of about three hundred local gendarmes, with rifles but
without munition, it was not particularly difficult for the fascisti
heroes to accomplish their task. Zanella had to fly once more.

"If Italy were to offend against the freedom and independence of the
State of Rieka she would deprive herself," said Signor Schanzer, the
Italian Foreign Secretary "she would deprive herself of the name of a
Great Power and in the Society of Nations she would retain no
authority." Thus did the successor of the relentless but unavailing
della Torretta try, with eloquent and noble words, to wipe the blot from
Italy's scutcheon. She could scarcely have the nations coming to the
Congress of Genoa, there to debate with regard to the economic
re-establishment of Europe, while her own conduct was so very much under
suspicion. It would have been rather curious, so the _Zagreber
Tagblatt_[67] pointed out, for a robber to invite you to his house with
a view to taking steps against robbery. Something drastic had to be
done, so that Europe would not look askance at the Italian Government.
Zanella, it was true, had been thrown out--but why should not the world
be told that this had been effected by the people of the town? A very
excellent idea! And so a certain Lieut. Cabruna of the _gendarmerie_
made a plan to get together the Constituent Assembly and then--well,
there are always methods by which resolutions can be passed. Perhaps it
would not even be necessary for a single rifle to be fired at the
deputies from the Distinguished Strangers' Gallery. But most of the
deputies succeeded in escaping from the town, although frantic efforts
were made to prevent them. Out of the threescore only thirteen poor
devils were held fast and came to the futile meeting. The others, with
Zanella, assembled on Yugoslav territory at a place called Saint Anna.

And Signor Schanzer went on talking. Officers and men of the Italian
army and navy, said he, had shown perfect discipline. Signor Schanzer
may not be an expert on discipline, but as a humorist he wins applause.
One's ordinary notions of discipline do not include the seizure of a
warship by a handful of bandits, the cannons of the vessel being
afterwards directed against the Government palace of a neutral State.
The fascisti, with the help of Italian troops and accompanied by several
Italian deputies, eject the legal Government of Rieka. One of these
deputies, Giuratti, is chosen by his friends to be President of the
Free State--Giuratti of the fascisti, Giuratti who most barbarically had
ill-treated the Istrian Slavs, but--for we will be just--this was when
he believed they were barbarians, savages, quite common, brutal men;
well, he had learned, he wrote,[68] that this was not the case, they had
adopted Western culture, they had raised the revolutionary flag against
the dynasty of Karageorgević and if Yugoslavia's dismemberment should
ever come to pass, "then, as I confidently hope," said he, "the Croats
with their righteous national aspirations will unite with their great
neighbour Italy. We salute the Croat Revolution with sincerest
sympathy..." and so on and so on. That was the kind of calm, impartial
personage to have as Governor of the distracted Free State, where in one
point anyhow most of the population think the same, and that is that
their union with Italy would be an absolute disaster. Behold this
Giuratti posing his candidature, Giuratti whose patriotism and idealism
are, says the Italian Government, fully appreciated by them;
nevertheless it has advised him to refuse the suggested honour. That he
should be punished did not occur to them; but what would they have said
if a Yugoslav--surely with more right than an Italian and certainly with
a larger following of townsfolk--had been selected as President? "The
proceedings of the Italian Government," said Schanzer, "are clear,
speedy and determined." But did anything unpleasant happen to Commandant
Castelli, an officer sent to make order, when he quite openly placed
himself on the side of the fascisti? Would degradation be the lot of any
officer or soldier who "mutinied" and joined the fascisti?... Apparently
it was due to the unhappy political condition of Europe that the whole
civilized world did not launch an indignant protest against the baseness
and cynicism of the Italians. But how utterly they failed to persuade
others that the wishes of Rieka were as they represented them! Rieka
desires to remain independent and this desire the Italians will have to
respect. And the later they make up their mind to keep their promises,
so much the worse for them. The Yugoslavs can wait, for theirs is the
future. A cartoonist in the Belgrade _Vreme_ depicted a rough old
Serbian warrior holding on his open hand a very neat little Italian
soldier. "Now listen to me," he was saying, "and I will tell you a
story. Once upon a time there was a country called Austria...."

There was a characteristic little affair at Saint Anna on March 23. A
few minutes after Zanella had left the Lubić Inn a suspicious-looking
person appeared. He began observing the customers and their
surroundings, when the Police-Commissary Peršić came up to him and
asked for his passport. "Take yourself off!" shouted the intruder, as he
pulled a bomb out of his trouser pocket. Peršić grappled with him
and soon overpowered him. And outside the house four other fascisti,
Armano Viola, Carpinelli, Bellia and Murolo, were captured. They claimed
to be journalists, and it is quite true that Viola is on the staff of
the notorious _Vedetta Italiana_; but when he comes into a foreign
country as a special correspondent and is teaching others how to go
about that business--for until then they had been otherwise engaged,
Murolo being charged with numerous thefts and attempted murders, while
Bellia and Carpinelli were accused of breaking into the Abbazia
Casino--if Viola was teaching them how to be journalists he would on
this occasion have been better advised if he had restricted them to the
conventional tools of the profession instead of bombs, revolvers and
daggers. Little use did they get out of them, for a trio of these armed
individuals were seized and disarmed by one Yugoslav gendarme, who was
himself very meagrely equipped. With tears in their eyes they begged for
mercy. "Pietà, Pietà!" they exclaimed. So long as their own lives were
spared they were very willing to forgo the 60,000 lire which had been
put on Zanella's head.

Unfortunately it seems obvious that this exploit, if not ordered by the
Italian Government was, at any rate, permitted by them. How otherwise
could the automobile containing these men have got past the sentries at
the Sušak bridge and two other Italian sentry posts? Moreover, these
men were in possession of documents which proved that official Italian
circles at Rieka were privy to their undertaking, and that they proposed
to investigate the Yugoslav military positions on the frontier....
These five fascisti brigands--who were also lieutenants of the Italian
army--would therefore have to be tried not only for attempted murder but
for attempted espionage. They were put into a train and transported to
the prison at Zagreb. "If once we begin to march," so the Italian
soldiers at Rieka had over and over again been telling the Croats, "then
we shall not halt before we come to Zagreb, your capital." Those five
will perhaps some day explain to their comrades how quickly Zagreb can
be reached.... As yet those whom they left behind them had not lost
their bombast: a manifesto was issued by them which declared that five
true patriots had sallied forth to Saint Anna, for the purpose of
parleying with the Constituent Assembly, and that in a barbarous fashion
they had been arrested, maltreated and possibly killed. Let the people
avenge the shedding of such noble blood. Everything, everything must be
done in order to liberate the captured brethren. And so, towards eleven
at night, about sixty fascisti and legionaries came together. Armed to
the teeth, they designed to cross over into Yugoslav territory, but when
they noticed that the sentry posts had been strengthened they went home
to bed.

A number of American and European journalists rushed out to Belgrade,
under the impression that the Yugoslav-Italian War could now no longer
be avoided. But they did not realize how great a self-control the
Yugoslavs possess. It may be, as a commentator put it in the
_Nation_,[69] that Italy "is practically at war with Yugoslavia," for
she is obsessed by the "Pan-Slav menace"; but if they insist on the
arbitrament of arms they will have to wait until the Yugoslavs have time
to deal with them.... The Free State of Rieka owes its existence to a
Treaty between Italy and Yugoslavia; both of them should therefore
guarantee its freedom. Italian and Yugoslav _gendarmerie_ and troops
should resist together the incursions of fascisti; and if the two races
cannot work in harmony, then let the administration of the town be
entrusted to neutral troops; and as High Commissioner one would suggest
Mr. Blakeney, the British Consul at Belgrade. If this imperturbable and
most kindly man were to fail in the attempt at repeating in Rieka what
has been accomplished in Danzig, then, indeed, one might despair; but he
would brilliantly and placidly succeed. All the other qualifications are
his; an intimate knowledge of every Near Eastern language--and, of
course, Italian; a perfect acquaintance with the mentality of all those
peoples; common sense of an uncommon order, and the whole-hearted
confidence of those with whom he comes into contact. Great Britain and
France compelled the Yugoslavs, at enormous sacrifices, to sign the
Treaty of Rapallo; they are, therefore, morally obliged to see that it
is executed. For too many months the Italians were saying that they
would carry out their part of it and leave the third zone in Dalmatia if
the Yugoslavs would agree to a few more concessions, commercial and
territorial, that were not in the Treaty. During the Genoa Conference in
the spring of 1922 the Italian authorities confessed to the Yugoslav
delegates that their hands were bound by the fascisti. These elements
would certainly object to the execution of that part of the Treaty of
Rapallo which refers to the port of Baroš. Accurately speaking, the
arrangements with regard to Baroš are embodied in a letter from Count
Sforza, the then Foreign Secretary, and are added to the Treaty as an
appendix. Both were signed on the same day, and apparently this plan of
an appendix was adopted on account of the fascisti. Yet if Count Sforza
had not signed that letter it is safe to say that the Yugoslavs would
not have signed the main body of a Treaty which to them was the reverse
of favourable. And at Genoa the Italians started haggling about a strip
of land near Baroš, in the hope that some success would stay the zeal
of the fascisti. Furthermore they pleaded that Zadar could not live if
Yugoslavia did not, in addition to supplying it with water, give it
railway communication with the interior. The Yugoslavs were thus invited
to construct at great expense a railway to a foreign town which their
own Šibenik and other Adriatic towns did not possess. This,
naturally, they refused to undertake, as also to agree to the Italian
suggestion that a free zone of some twenty kilometres should be
instituted at the back of Zadar. One might safely say that the Italian
agents in this region would not have confined themselves to salutary
measures for the welfare of the town. It is stated in the Treaty of
Rapallo that in case of disagreement either party could invoke an
arbitrator, and the Yugoslavs, who happen now to be the weaker party,
have been contemplating application to the League of Nations. Well, in
Genoa it was proposed by Italy that Yugoslavia should renounce the
clause which deals with an eventual arbitration. If you make a large
number of demands--never mind that they should be in opposition to a
Treaty you have signed--then you may gain a few of them--and Italy was
hoping that the Free State would repay the costs which she incurred
there on account of her unruly son d'Annunzio, and, likewise, that the
good Italianists who at the end of the Great War committed wholesale
thefts from the State warehouses should not be made to pay for it. With
all their guile and strength the Italians were endeavouring to avoid the
execution of her Treaty of Rapallo. "Italy is the one Power in Europe,"
says Mr. Harold Goad[70] who thrusts himself upon our notice, "Italy is
the one Power in Europe that is most obviously and most consistently
working for peace and conciliation in every field."


The complicated troubles, avoidable and unavoidable, that have been
raging in Central Europe after the War are being met to some extent by
the Little Entente, an association in the first place between Yugoslavia
and the kindred Czecho-Slovakia, and afterwards between them and
Roumania. The world was assured that this union had for its object the
establishment of peace, security and normal economic activities in
Central and Eastern Europe; no acquisitive purposes were in the
background, and since these three States now recognized that if they try
to swallow more of the late Austro-Hungarian monarchy they will suffer
from chronic indigestion, we need not be suspicious of their altruism.
It is perfectly true that the first impulse which moved the creators of
the Little Entente was not constructive but defensive; their great
Allies did not appear, in the opinion of the three Succession States, to
be taking the necessary precautions against the elements of reaction.
Otherwise they, especially France (which was naturally more determined
that Austria should not join herself to Germany), would not have
favoured the idea of a Danubian Federation, in which Austria and Hungary
would play leading parts. The Great Powers would also, if they had been
less exclusively concerned with their own interests, have handled with
more resolution the attempts of Charles of Habsburg to place himself at
the head of the present reactionary régime at Buda-Pest; and if it had
not been for certain energetic measures taken by the members of the
Little Entente it may well be doubted whether the Government of Admiral
Horthy, which does not conceal the fact that it is royalist--the king
being temporarily absent--would have required Charles to leave the
country. The Little Entente pointed out to their great Allies what these
had apparently overlooked, namely, that the return of the Habsburgs was
not opposed by the Succession States out of pure malice but for the
reason that it would inevitably strengthen the magnates and the high
ecclesiastics in their desire to bring about the restoration of
Hungary's old frontiers. As the frontiers are now drawn there dwell--and
this could not be prevented--a number of Magyars in each of the three
neighbouring States (the fewest being in Yugoslavia), just as the
present Hungary includes a Czech-Slovak, Roumanian and Yugoslav
population.[71] But the Great Powers agree that if this frontier is to
be changed at all, every precaution should be taken against having it
changed by force. It is no exaggeration to say that there can be no
real peace in Central Europe until normal intercourse with Russia is
re-established, but let it in the meantime be the task of the Little
Entente to guard the temporary peace from being shattered.

Apart from this defensive object the countries of the Little Entente
have the positive aim of a resumption of normal economic conditions and
the institution of a new order of things in accordance with the new
political construction of Central and Eastern Europe. It is obvious that
these three States have numerous interests in common which make their
co-operation very natural, if not indeed indispensable.


    [Footnote 46: April 16, 1920.]

    [Footnote 47: January 22, 1920.]

    [Footnote 48: According to the Rome correspondent of the _Petit

    [Footnote 49: But the wind was considerably tempered for him:
    vessels laden with his precise requirements sailed over from
    Italy and said they had been captured by d'Annunzio's arditi.
    General Badoglio, in command of the royal troops outside the
    town, ascertained in November 1919 that Rieka's coal-supply was
    nearly exhausted and 7000 tons per month were required for the
    public services alone. He accordingly informed a syndicate of
    coal merchants in Triest that he would be personally
    responsible for the first consignment of coal to d'Annunzio. A
    month earlier, when the town was supposed to be blockaded, it
    was announced that a limited supply of food-stuffs would,
    nevertheless, be introduced, through the Red Cross, for very
    young children. This amounted, as a matter of fact, to 21
    truckloads a week. It is significant that there was no rise in
    the prices charged in the public restaurants of Rieka, and that
    persons living outside the line of Armistice found it cheaper
    to do their shopping in the besieged city.]

    [Footnote 50: February 20, 1920.]

    [Footnote 51: September 1921.]

    [Footnote 52: However, in the Yugoslav Parliament, although
    some of the deputies have spent their lives in far-off,
    primitive places--by no means all of those who represent the
    Albanians can read and write--one does not hear such deplorable
    language as that which, according to the _Grazer Volksblatt_ of
    January 19, 1922, disgraced the Austrian Assembly. A certain
    Dr. Waneck, of the Pan-German party, wished to criticize the
    Minister of Finance, Professor Dr. Gürtler of the Christian
    Socialists. He remarked that one could not expect this Minister
    to be sober at four o'clock in the afternoon, and went on to
    say that no less than five banks, whose names he would give,
    had received early information from the Minister, which enabled
    them to speculate successfully. He repeated this accusation
    several times and with great violence, but when he was invited
    to reveal the names of these banks--"No, sir!" he cried. "I
    will not do so, because I don't want to."]

    [Footnote 53: Cf. "The Tri-Une Kingdom," by Pavle Popović
    and Jovan M. Jovanović, in the _Quarterly Review_, October

    [Footnote 54: He was kept for some time in confinement at
    Mitrovica, in Syrmia, and in November 1920 he was liberated in
    consequence of the great amnesty.]

    [Footnote 55: Cf. _Spectator_, July 17, 1920.]

    [Footnote 56: Cf. _Edinburgh Review_, July 1920.]

    [Footnote 57: A few months after this, in the course of a
    little controversy in the _Saturday Review_ (which arose from
    an unsigned and, I hoped, rather reasonable article of mine on
    the Adriatic Settlement) I quoted from memory this passage of
    Mrs. Re-Bartlett's and said that the Italian captain was giving
    chocolates to the children at Kievo. Thereupon Mr. Harold W. E.
    Goad of the British-Italian League wrote a highly indignant
    letter to the editor, and in the course of it he denounced me
    for having egregiously invented the chocolates "for the sole
    purpose of throwing her testimony into ridicule.... What do
    you, Sir, think of such methods as that?" And he concluded by
    declaring that I wallowed in a "truly Balkan slough of
    distortion and calumny." Well, on referring to Mrs.
    Re-Bartlett's article I find that there is no mention of
    chocolates, and I apologize; presumably the children were
    crowding round their adored _Capitano_ in order to thank him
    for the bridges and waterworks which were being built in

    [Footnote 58: During the Italian occupation, said Professor
    Salvemini, teachers, doctors and priests were deported or
    expelled from the country, while the Italian Government had to
    dissolve 30 municipal councils out of 33, so that at the head
    of the communes were Italian officials and not properly elected
    mayors. Moreover, all liberties were suppressed. No Slav
    newspapers, no Slav societies were permitted, and 32 out of 57
    magistrates were dismissed--these methods being due not to
    cruelty or folly, said the Professor, but to the necessity of
    keeping order by forcible means in a country which was wholly

    [Footnote 59: November 13, 1920.]

    [Footnote 60: November 15, 1920.]

    [Footnote 61: This, of course, did not meet with the approval
    of Signor d'Annunzio. He made numerous pronouncements with
    regard to his inflexible desires, saying that, if necessary, he
    would offer up his bleeding corpse. And his resistance to the
    Italian Government did not confine itself to rhetoric. During
    his usurpation of Rieka this man had done his country grievous
    harm. It was not only that he held her up to the smiles of the
    malicious who said that she could not keep order in her own
    house, but he was guiding the people back to barbarism. When
    sailors of the royal navy deserted to his standard, he knelt
    before them in the streets of Rieka at a time when from Russia
    Lenin was inciting the Italian Communists to revolution and to
    the conquest of the State. He refused to deal with Giolitti,
    even as he had rejected the advances of Nitti. But the aged
    Giolitti grasped the problem with more firmness, which was what
    one might expect from the statesman who, after his return to
    power, had leaned neither on the industrial magnates of Milan
    nor on their Bolševik antagonists. Giolitti was resolved to
    put an end to the nuisance of d'Annunzio; in no constitutional
    State is there room for a Prime Minister and such a
    swashbuckler. The Nationalists of Italy were furious when they
    perceived that the Premier was in earnest and that force would
    be employed against their idol. And it had to come to that, for
    the utterly misguided man continued to resist--hoping doubtless
    for wholesale desertions in the army and navy--with the
    deplorable result that a good many Italians were slain by
    Italians. Orders were issued by the Government that all
    possible care should be taken of d'Annunzio's person; and
    eventually when Rieka was taken by the royalist troops the poet
    broke his oath that he would surely die; he announced that
    Italy was not worth dying for and it was said that he had
    sailed away on an aeroplane. He had accomplished none of his
    desires; the town had not become Italian, though he had bathed
    it in Italian blood. His overweening personal ambitions had
    been shipwrecked on the rock of ridicule, for as he made his
    inglorious exit he shouted at the world that he was "still
    alive and inexorable." But yet he may have unconsciously
    achieved something, for his seizure of what he loved to call
    the "holocaust city" provided the extreme Nationalists with a
    private stage where--in uniforms of their own design, in cloaks
    and feathers and flowing black ties and with eccentric
    arrangements of the hair--they could strut and caper and fling
    bombastic insults at the authorities in Rome, until the
    Government found it opportune to take them in hand. The
    greatest Italian poet and one of the greatest imaginative
    writers in Europe will now be able to devote himself--if his
    rather morbid Muse has suffered no injury--to his predestined
    task. Those--the comparatively few that read--whose
    acquaintance with this writer's work usually caused them to
    regret his methods, could not help admiring his personal
    activities, his genius for leadership and his vital fire during
    the War. But, once this was over, he relapsed; and expressing
    himself very clearly in action, so that he became known to the
    many instead of the few, he lived what he previously wrote, and
    now it is generally recognized that Gabriel of the
    Annunciation, as he calls himself, who produced a row of
    obscene and histrionic novels, is a mountebank, a self-deceiver
    and a most affected bore. When he came to Rieka he thought fit
    to appeal to the England of Milton. And, like him, Milton lived
    as he wrote. Milton, Dante and Sophocles--to mention no others
    of the supreme writers--were as serious and responsible in
    their public actions as in the pursuit of their art.]

    [Footnote 62: Whatever be the limitations of the _Dom_ as a
    newspaper--it is almost exclusively occupied with the person
    and programme of Mr. Radić--yet that brings with it the
    virtue, most exceptional in Yugoslavia, of refusing to engage
    in polemics. This would otherwise take up a good deal of its
    space, as Radić has become such a bogey-man that nothing is
    too ridiculous for his opponents to believe. A Czech newspaper
    not long ago informed the world that this monstrous personage
    had told an interviewer that not only had Serbian soldiers in
    Macedonia been murdering 200 children but that they had roasted
    and consumed them. Furthermore Radić had said that the
    British Minister to Yugoslavia had called upon him and had
    asked his advice with some persistence, not even wishing to
    leave Radić time to reflect, as to whether the Prince-Regent
    should rule in Russia, while an English Prince should be
    invited to occupy the Yugoslav throne. The first of these
    remarks proved conclusively, said a number of Belgrade papers,
    that Radić was a knave and by the second he had demonstrated
    that he was an imbecile. And my friend Mr. Leiper of the
    _Morning Post_ speculated as to whether he was more likely to
    end his days in a lunatic asylum or a prison. But Radić was
    caring about none of these things; his birthday happened at
    about this time and some 30,000 of his adherents came to do him
    honour at his birthplace, over 500 of them on decorated horses
    having met him at Sisak station the previous evening. When I
    asked him what he had to say about the two afore-mentioned
    remarks he gave me an amusing account of how the interviewer
    had appreciated the various samples of wine which he (Radić)
    had just brought down from his vineyard. The conversation
    lasted for about four hours, and in the course of it Radić
    mentioned that a certain Moslem deputy from Novi Bazar,
    irritated by the fact that Mr. Drašković, Minister of the
    Interior, found no pleasure in his continued presence on a
    commission of inquiry in the region of Kossovo, had been
    throwing out very dark hints about a child which he accused the
    Serbs of killing in the stormy days of 1878, and then relating
    to the Tsar that this dastardly deed had been committed by the
    Turks. This was the basis of that part of the interview. As for
    the other absurdity, it was mentioned that some courtiers had
    told the Prince-Regent that he alone could establish an orderly
    Government in Russia, whereupon Radić observed that England
    and France were not likely to allow one person to reign both
    there and in Yugoslavia. And when I asked why he had not
    published this explanation in his paper, he said that he
    couldn't very well charge a guest with having liked his wine
    too much.]

    [Footnote 63: Cf. _The Quarterly Review_ (October 1921), in
    which Messrs. Pavle Popović and Jovan M. Jovanović
    published a very able survey of Yugoslav conditions.]

    [Footnote 64: Cf. _Nineteenth Century and After_, January

    [Footnote 65: April 26, 1921.]

    [Footnote 66: Unhappily it became apparent that the Italians
    were not disposed to have the Treaty put in force]

    [Footnote 67: March 23, 1922.]

    [Footnote 68: Cf. an article in a fascisti newspaper, quoted by
    the _Zagreber Tagblatt_ of May 14, 1922.]

    [Footnote 69: Cf. "The Rise of the Little Entente," by Dorothy
    Thompson. April 1, 1922.]

    [Footnote 70: _Fortnightly Review_, May 1922.]

    [Footnote 71: The magnates of Hungary and their friends do not
    grow weary of lamenting the sad fate of the Magyar minorities.
    Whatever may be happening in Transylvania, they have a very
    poor case against the Serbs. In the Voivodina there are,
    according to Hungarian statistics, about 382,000 Magyars out of
    1·4 million inhabitants. These Magyars have their primary and
    secondary schools, their newspapers and so forth, whereas in
    the spring of 1922 the schools in various Serbian villages near
    Budapest were forcibly closed, the lady teachers being told
    that if they stayed they would have to undergo the physical
    examination which is applied to prostitutes.]





Nobody could have expected in the autumn of 1918 that the frontiers of
the new State would be rapidly delimitated. Ethnological, economic,
historic and strategical arguments--to mention no others--would be
brought forward by either side, and the Supreme Council, which had to
deliver judgment on these knotty problems, would be often more
preoccupied with their own interests and their relation to each other.
It would also happen that a member of the Supreme Council would be
simultaneously judge and pleader. The mills of justice would therefore
grind very slowly, for they would be conscious that the fruit of their
efforts, evolved with much foreign material clogging the machinery and
with parts of the machinery jerked out of their line of track, would be
received with acute criticism. When more than two years had elapsed from
the time of the Armistice a considerable part of Yugoslavia's frontiers
remained undecided. We will travel along the frontier lines, starting
with that between Yugoslavs and Albanians.



Those who in old Turkish days lived in that wild border country which is
dealt with on these pages would have been surprised to hear that they
would be the objects of a great deal of discussion in the west of
Europe. But in those days there was no Yugoslavia and no Albania and no
League of Nations, and very few were the writers who took up this
question. It is, undoubtedly, a question of importance, though some of
these writers, remembering that the fate of the world was dependent on
the fraction of an inch of Cleopatra's nose, seem almost to have
imagined that it was proportionately more dependent on those several
hundred kilometres of disputed frontier. It would not so much matter
that they have introduced a good deal of passion into their arguments if
they had not also exerted some influence on influential men--and this
compels one to pay them what would otherwise be excessive attention.

Let us consider the frontier which the Ambassadors' Conference in
November 1921 assigned to Yugoslavia and the Albanians. We have already
mentioned some of the previous points of contact between those Balkan
neighbours who for centuries have been acquiring knowledge of each other
and who, therefore, as Berati Bey, the Albanian delegate in Paris, very
wisely said, should have been left to manage their own frontier
question. A number of Western Europeans will exclaim that this could not
be accomplished without the shedding of blood; but it is rather more
than probable that the interference of Western Europe--partly
philanthropic and partly otherwise--will be responsible for greater loss
of life. If it could not be permitted that two of the less powerful
peoples should attempt to settle their own affairs, then, at any rate,
the most competent of alien judges should have sat on the tribunal. A
frontier in that part of Europe should primarily take the peculiarities
of the people into account, and I believe that if Sir Charles Eliot and
Baron Nopsca with their unrivalled knowledge of the Albanians had been
consulted it is probable they would, for some years to come, have
thought desirable the frontier which is preferred by General Franchet
d'Espérey, by a majority of the local Albanians, and by those who hope
for peace in the Balkans.


A battle which took place near Tuzi, not far from Podgorica, in December
1919, may assist the study of the difficult Albanian question. At the
first attack about 150 Montenegrins, mostly young recruits, were killed
or wounded; but in the counter-attack the Albanian losses were much
greater, 167 of them being made prisoners. On all of these were found
Italian rifles, ammunition, money and army rations. On the other hand, a
few Montenegrins, with three officers, were also captured and were
stripped and handed over, naked, to the Italians. But these declined to
have them, saying that the conflict had been no concern of theirs, and
the unfortunate men--with the exception of one who escaped--remained
among the Albanians. The fact that Tuzi would be of no value to the
Italians neither weakens nor strengthens the supposition that they were
privy to the Albanian attack; but it may very well be that the natives
had taken their Italian equipment by force of arms. It would, anyhow,
seem that the Italians have little understanding of this people: during
the War, when General Franchet d'Espérey was straightening his line, he
paid some hundreds of Albanians to maintain his western flank, and they
were very satisfactory. (It troubled them very little whether they were
holding it against the Austrians or against other Albanians.) When Italy
took over that part of the line she employed a whole Division, which--to
the amusement, it is said, of Franchet d'Espérey--provided the local
population with a great deal of booty, and in particular with mules.
There was constant trouble in those regions of Albania which were
occupied by the Italians,[72] and in June 1920 things had come to such a
pass that the Italian garrisons, after being thrown out of the villages
of Bestrovo and Selitza, were actually retiring with all the stores they
could rescue to Valona. Their retreat, said Reuter, in a euphemistic
message from Rome, was "attended by some loss." As Valona was their last
stronghold in Albanian territory, it seemed that very few, if any, of
the tribes were in favour of an Italian protectorate. And since it was
calculated that during the first six months of 1920 the Italian
Government was paying from 400 to 500 million lire a month for corn, and
the year's deficit might be enough to lead the State to the very verge
of bankruptcy, one was asking whether from an economic, apart from any
other, point of view, it would not be advisable for the Italians to cut
their losses in central Albania. And this they very wisely determined to
do. Would that their subsequent policy in northern Albania had been as

It would also seem as if the affair of Tuzi shows that the Albanians
have no wish for a Yugoslav protectorate, and there are a good many
Serbs, such as Professor Cvijić, who view with uneasiness any
extension of their sway over the Albanians. Many of the tribes are
prepared, after very small provocation or none, to take up arms against
anybody; and those who, in the north and north-east of the country, are
in favour of a Yugoslav protectorate would undoubtedly have opposed to
them a number of the natives, less because they are fired with the
prospect of "Albania for the Albanians" than on account of their
patriarchal views. We must, however, at the same time, acknowledge that
those Albanians who are impelled by patriotic ideals, and who would like
to see their countrymen within the 1913 frontiers, resolutely turn away
from the various attractions which the Slavs undoubtedly exercise over
many of them and combine in a brotherly fashion, under the guidance of a
disinterested State, to work for an independent Albania--those idealists
have every right to be heard. Their solution is, in fact, the one that
would, as we have elsewhere said, be best for everyone concerned. The
late Professor Burrows, who believed in the possibility of such an
arrangement, thought that it would take generations for this people "to
pass from blood feud and tribal jealousy to the good order of a unified
State, unless they have tutorage in the art of self-government." There
seem to be grave difficulties, both external and internal, in the way of
setting up such a tutorage over the whole of the 1913 Albania; and if a
majority of the northern and north-eastern tribes prefer to turn to
Yugoslavia, rather than to join the frustrated patriots and the wilder
brethren in turning away from it, they should not be sweepingly
condemned as traitors to the national cause. The frame of mind which
looks with deep suspicion on a road that links a tribe to its neighbour
is not very promising for those who dream of an Albanian nation; it is a
prevalent and fundamental frame of mind. "The Prince of Wied," we are
told by his countryman, Dr. Max Müller, "succeeded in conquering the
hearts of those Albanians who supported him and of gaining the highest
respect of those who were his political opponents." No doubt they were
flattered when they noticed that he had so far become an Albanian as to
surround his residence at Durazzo with barbed-wire entanglements.

Among the solutions of the Albanian problem was that which Dr. Müller
very seriously, not to say ponderously, put forward in 1916.[73] This
gentleman, with a first-hand knowledge of the country, which he gained
during the War, did not minimize the task which would face the Prince of
Wied on his return. Of that wooden potentate one may say that his work
in Albania did not collapse for the reason that it was never started; a
few miles from Durazzo, his capital, from which, I believe, he made only
that one excursion whose end was undignified, a few miles away he
excited the derision of his "subjects," and a few miles farther off they
had not heard of him. Dr. Müller, after reproving us sternly for smiling
at the national decoration, in several classes, with which his Highness
on landing at the rickety pier was graciously pleased to gladden the
meritorious natives, admits that at his second coming he will have to
take various other steps. Austrians and Germans should be brought to
colonize the country, and not peasants, forsooth, like those who have
laboriously made good in the Banat, but merchants, manufacturers,
engineers, doctors, officials and large landowners--not by any means
without close inquiry, so as to admit only such as are in possession of
a blameless repute and a certain amount of cash. Dr. Müller was resolved
that, so far as lay with him, none but the very best Teutons should
embark upon this splendid mission. He desired that, after landing, they
should first of all remain at the harbour, there to undergo a course of
tuition in the customs and peculiarities of the tribe among which they
proposed to settle. His compatriots would be so tactful--apparently not
criticizing any of the customs--that the hearts of the Albanians would
incline towards them and by their beautiful example they would make
these primitive, wild hearts beat not so much for local interests but
very fervently for the Albanian fatherland. One cannot help a feeling of
regret that circumstances have prevented us from seeing Dr. Müller's
scheme put into action.


In 1913, after the Balkan War, the flags of the Powers were hoisted at
Scutari, and a frontier dividing the Albanians from the Yugoslavs
(Montenegrins and Serbs) was indicated by Austria and traced at the
London Conference. This boundary was still awaiting its final
demarcation by commissioners on the spot when the European War broke
out. Then in the second year of the War disturbances were organized by
the Austrians in Albania--their friend the miscreant ruler of Montenegro
caused money to be sent for this purpose to the Austro-Hungarian Consul
at Scutari--and in April and May of that year the Serbs were authorized
by their Allies to protect themselves by occupying certain portions of
the country. Various battles took place between those Albanians who were
partisans of Austria and those who were disinclined to attack the Serbs
in the rear. The Serbian Government opposed the Austrian propaganda by
dispatching to that region the Montenegrin Pouniša Račić, of
whom we have much to say. He was accompanied by Smajo Ferović, a
Moslem sergeant of komitadjis. They explained to the Albanians that the
Serbs had been offered a separate peace with numerous concessions, but
that Mr. Pašić had refused to treat. When the two Albanian parties
discussed the situation by shooting at each other, the Austro-Hungarian
officers made tracks for Kotor, and that particular intrigue came to an

When the War was over, the Serbs, sweeping up from Macedonia, were
requested by General Franchet d'Espérey to undertake a task which the
Italians refused, and push the demoralized Austrian troops out of
Albania. Some weeks after this had been accomplished, the Italians,
mindful of the Treaty of London, demanded that a large part of Albania
should be given up to their administration. The Serbs agreed and
withdrew; they even took away their representative from Scutari, where
the Allies had again installed themselves. The Treaty of London bestowed
upon the Serbs a sphere of influence in northern Albania, but--save for
a few misguided politicians--they were logical enough to reject the
whole of the pernicious Treaty, both the clauses which robbed them in
Dalmatia and those which in Albania gave them stolen goods. Over and
over again did the Yugoslav delegates declare in Paris that it was their
wish to see established an independent Albania with the frontiers of
1913. These, the first frontiers which the Albanians had ever possessed,
were laid down by Austria with the express purpose of thwarting the
Serbs and facilitating Albanian raids. It is true that several towns
with large Albanian majorities were made over to the Serbs--very much,
as it turned out, to their subsequent advantage--yet, being separated
from their hinterland, this was a doubtful gift. Nevertheless, if a free
and united Albania could be constituted the Serbs were ready to accept
this frontier, and even Monsieur Justin Godart, the strenuous French
Albanophile of whom we speak elsewhere, cannot deny that this attitude
of the Yugoslavs redounds very much to their honour. But before relative
tranquillity reigns among the Albanians it is, as General Franchet
d'Espérey perceived in 1918, an untenable line. He, therefore, drew a
temporary frontier which permitted the Serbs to advance for some miles
into Albania, so that on the river Drin or on the mountain summits they
might ward off attacks. These, by the way, had their origin far more in
the border population's empty stomachs than in their animus against the
Slavs. And nobody with knowledge of this people could regard the 1918
frontier as unnecessary. The Albanians were themselves so much inclined
to acquiesce that one must ask why, in the months which followed, there
was a considerable amount of border fighting. What was it that caused
the Albanians in the region of Scutari to make their violent onslaughts
of December 1919 and January 1920, the renewed offensive of July 1920 at
the same places--after which the Albanian Government forwarded to that
of Belgrade an assurance of goodwill--and the organized thrust of August
13 against Dibra, which was preceded on August 10 by a manifesto to the
chancelleries of Europe falsely accusing the Serbs of having begun these
operations, and which was followed by the Tirana Government promising to
try to find the guilty persons? The 19th of the same month saw the
Albanians delivering a further attack in the neighbourhood of Scutari,
and then the Yugoslav Government decided that their army must occupy
such defensive positions as would put a stop to these everlasting
incidents. But a voice was whispering to the Albanians that they must
not allow themselves to be so easily coerced. "You have thrown us out of
all the land behind Valona," said the voice, "and out of Valona itself.
You must, therefore, be the greatest warriors in the world, and we will
be charmed to provide you with rifles and machine guns and munitions
and uniforms and cash. We will gladly publish to the world that your
Delegation at Rome has sent us an official Note demanding that the
Yugoslav troops should retire to the 1913 line, pure and simple. Of
course we, like the other Allies, agreed that they should occupy the
more advanced positions which General Franchet d'Espérey assigned to
them--and to show you how truly sorry we are for having done so, we
propose to send you all the help you need. In dealing with us you will
find that you have to do with honourable men, whereas the
Yugoslavs--what are they but Yugoslavs?"

Anyone who travelled about this time along the road from Scutari down to
the port of San Giovanni di Medua would inevitably meet with processions
of ancient cabs, ox-wagons and what not, laden with all kinds of
military equipment. Some of these supplies had come direct from Italy,
while others had been seized from the Italians near Valona. The
detachment of Italian soldiers at San Giovanni, and the much larger
detachment at Scutari, may have looked with mixed feelings at some of
these commodities, but on the other hand they may have thought, with
General Bencivenga,[74] that it was good business--"_un buon
affare_"--in exchange for Valona to obtain a solid and secure friendship
with the Albanians. Roads, as he pointed out, lead from Albania to the
heart of Serbia, and for that reason a true brotherhood of arms between
Italians and Albanians was, in case of hostilities, enormously to be
desired. And so the Italians stationed at Scutari, under Captain
Pericone of the Navy, may have felt that it was well that all those
cannon captured from their countrymen were in such a good condition.
They would now be turned by the Albanians against the hateful Yugoslavs.
["Italy is the one Power in Europe," says her advocate, Mr. H. E. Goad,
in the _Fortnightly Review_ (May 1922), "that is most obviously and most
consistently working for peace and conciliation in every field."] ... A
further supply of military material is said to have reached the
Albanians from Gabriele d'Annunzio in the S.S. _Knin_. To the Irish, the
Egyptians and the Turks the poet-filibuster had merely sent greetings.
Some one may have told him that even the most lyrical greeting would
not be valued by the Albanians half as much as a shipload of munitions.

For a considerable time the more intelligent Italians had noticed that
these two Balkan peoples were disposed to live in amicable terms with
one another. Traditions that are so powerful with an illiterate
people--under five per thousand of the Albanians who have stayed in
their own country can read and write--numerous traditions speak of
friendship with the Serbs: Lek, the great legislator, was related to
Serbian princes; Skanderbeg was an ally of the Serbs; "Most of the
celebrated leaders of northern Albania and Montenegro," says Miss
Durham, "seem to have been of mixed Serbian-Albanian blood"; Mustapha
Vezir Bushatli strove together with Prince Miloš against the Turks,
and the same cause united the Serbian authorities to the famous Vezir
Mahmud Begović of Peć. A primitive people like the Albanians
admire the warlike attributes beyond all others, and the exploits of the
Serbian army in the European War inclined the hearts of the Albanians
towards their neighbours. Some of them remembered at this juncture that
their great-grandfathers or grandfathers had only become Albanian after
having accepted the Muhammedan religion; now the old ikons were taken
from their hiding-places. And there was, in fact, between the two Balkan
people a spirit of cordiality which gave terrible umbrage to the
Italians. So they took the necessary steps: many of the Catholic priests
had been in Austria's pay, and these now became the pensioners of Italy.
Monsignor Sereggi, the Metropolitan, used to be anti-Turk but, as was
evident when in 1911 he negotiated with Montenegro, he is not personally
anti-Slav. Yet he must have money for his clergy, for his seminary, and
so forth. His friendship would be easily, one fancies, transferred from
Rome to Belgrade if the Serbs are willing to provide the cash--and
nobody can blame him. Leo Freund, who had been Vienna's secret agent and
a great friend of Monsignor Bumçi, the Albanian bishop, was succeeded by
an Italian. But, of course, the new almoner did not confine his gifts to
those of his own faith. Many of the leading Moslems were in receipt of a
monthly salary, and this was not so serious a burden for the Italians
as one might suppose, since Albania is a poor country, and with no
Austrian competition you found quite prominent personages deigning to
accept a rather miserable wage. "And do you think," I asked of Musa
Yuka, the courteous mayor of Scutari, "that those mountain tribes are
being paid?" "Well," he said, "I think that it is not improbable." ...
At the time of the Bosnian annexation crisis the Serbs had as their
Minister of Finance the sagacious Patchoù. The War Minister, a General,
was strongly in favour of an instant declaration of war, and the Premier
suggested that the matter should be discussed. He turned to the Minister
of Finance and asked him whether he had sufficient money for such an
undertaking. Patchoù shook his head. "But our men are patriots! They
will go without bread, they will go without everything!" exclaimed the
General. "The horses and mules are not patriots," said Patchoù, "and if
you want them to march you'll have to feed them." The Albanians were so
little inclined to go to war with Yugoslavia that the Italians had, in
various ways, to feed them nearly all. And what did the Albanians think
of these intrigues? At any rate, what did they say? "Italy," quoth
Professor Chimigò,[75] a prominent Albanian who teaches at Bologna,
"Italy is always respected and esteemed as a great nation.... The
Albanian Government," said he, "has charged me to declare in public that
Albania does not regard herself as victorious against Italy, but is
convinced that the Italians, in withdrawing their troops from Valona,
were obeying a sentiment of goodness and generosity." Such words would
be likely to bring more plentiful supplies from Rome. And fortunately
the Italians did not seem to suffer, like the Serbs, from any scruples
as to the propriety of taking active steps against another "Allied and
Associated Power." When Zena Beg Riza Beg of Djakovica came in the year
1919 to his brother-in-law Ahmed Beg Mati, one of the Albanian leaders,
he told him that the Belgrade Government, in pursuance of their policy
"The Balkans for the Balkan peoples," would be glad if the Italians
could be ousted from Albania. Zena Beg returned with a request for
money, guns and so forth; but they were not sent.

Ahmed Beg and Zena Beg are patriotic young Albanian noblemen of ancient
family and great possessions. But Zena Beg has the advantage of living
in Yugoslavia, outside the atmosphere of corruption which is darkening
his native land. Ahmed Beg, who in 1920 was Minister of the Interior,
Minister of War, Governor of Scutari and Director (in mufti) of the
military operations against the Yugoslavs, did not accept Italian
bribes, but he was surrounded by those who did, and thus the gentle and
industrious young man was being led to work against his own country's
interests. With him at Scutari was another of the six Ministers of the
Tirana Government, in the person of the venerable Moslem priest Kadri,
Minister of Justice, and one of the four Regents, Monsignor Bumçi. There
was about it all an Oriental odour of the less desirable kind, which
caused some observers to say that when Albania obtains her independence
she will be a bad imitation of the old Turkey--a little Turkey without
the external graces. When the thoughtful greybeard Kadri went limping
down the main street, a protecting gendarme dawdled behind him, smoking
a cigarette; but this endearing nonchalance was absent from the methods
of government: any Albanian whose opinions did not coincide with those
of the authorities could only express them at his peril. [Blood-vengeance
is, to some extent, being deposed by party-vengeance--this having
originated in the time of Wied, when the politicians were divided into
Nationalists and Essadists, after which they became Italophils and
Austrophils, who now have been succeeded by Italophils (who ask for an
Italian mandate) and Serbophils and Grecophils (who desire that these
countries should have no mandate, but should act in a friendly spirit
towards an independent Albania). Meanwhile the Italophils, nearly all of
them on Italy's pay-roll, were, till a few months ago, in the ascendant,
and their attitude towards the other party was relentless.] One Alush
Ljocha, for example, said that he thought it would be well if Yugoslavia
and Albania lived on friendly terms with one another. Because of this--the
Government having adopted other ideas--his house at Scutari was
burned,[76] and when we were discussing the matter at the palace of the
Metropolitan, Monsignor Sereggi, I found that His Grace was emphatically in
accord with a fiery Franciscan poet, Father Fichta, with the more placid
Monsignor Bumçi, and with two other ecclesiastics who were present. "We did
well to burn his house, very well, I say!" exclaimed Father Fichta,
"because Alush is only a private person and he has no business to concern
himself with foreign countries." Of course, when Father Fichta made his
comments on foreign countries it was not as a private person but as a
responsible editor. Thus in the _Posta e Shqypnis_ during the War he
denounced Clemenceau and Lloyd George as such foes of humanity that their
proper destination was a cage of wild beasts, and, after having visited
France during 1919 as secretary to the sincere and credulous Bumçi, he
contributed anti-French and, I believe, anti-English poems to the _Epopea

"I have been told," I said, "by an intelligent Albanian who was educated
at Robert College at Constantinople that the greatest hope for the
country lies, in his opinion, in the increase of American schools, such
as that one at Elbasan and the admirable institution at Samakoff in
Bulgaria, where the Americans--in order not to be accused of
proselytism--teach everything except religion."

"If I had my own way," cried Fichta, "I would shut up these irreligious
American schools. Religion is the base of the social life of this

"And you and the Muhammedans," I asked, "do you think that your
co-operation has a good prospect of enduring? With a country of no more
than one and a half million inhabitants it is essential that you should
be united."

"God in Heaven! Who can tolerate such things?" exclaimed the
Metropolitan. That very corpulent old gentleman was bouncing with rage
on his sofa. "Is it not horrible," he cried in Italian, "that this man
should dare to come to my house and make propaganda against us?"

"Really, sir, I am astonished," said Monsignor Bumçi, reproachfully, in
French, "that you should ask such a question." [It was answered a few
weeks later, when Halim Beg Derala and Zena Beg--who, being outside
Albania, were free to utter non-Governmental opinions--said that they
had not the slightest doubt but that the friendship between the fanatic
Moslem and the fanatic Catholic would come to an end and each of them
would again in the first place think of his religion, so that, as
heretofore, they would regard themselves as Turkish and Latin people
rather than as Albanian. This foible does not apply to the Orthodox
Albanians of the South, who are more patriotic.] "I am astonished," said
the Monsignor, "that you should question our friendship with the Moslem.
They have been the domineering party, but all that is finished, and we
are the best of friends. See, they have chosen me to be one of the
Regents![77] Our Government of all the three religions is very good,
and," said he, as he thumped the arm of his chair, "it insists on the
Albanians obtaining justice in spite of our enemies."

It chanced that I had met Father Achikou, Doctor of Theology and
Philosophy, in the Franciscan church. Because his brother had had
occasion to kill an editor in self-defence, this, perhaps the most
enlightened, member of the Albanian Catholic clergy, had been compelled
to remain for eight months in the church and its precincts, seeing that
the Government was powerless to guarantee that he would not be overtaken
by that national curse, the blood-vengeance.

"Well, one cannot praise the custom of blood-vengeance," said the

"You spoke," I said, "of your Government insisting on justice for the

And some time after this Professor Achikou and another prominent young
priest were deported to Italy and, I believe, interned in that
country.... With their fate we may compare that of Dom Ndoc Nikai, a
priest whose anti-Slav paper, the _Bessa Shqyptare_, is alleged to
exist on its Italian subsidy, and Father Paul Doday, whom Italy insisted
on installing as Provincial of all the Franciscans (after vetoing at
Rome the appointment of Father Vincent Prênnushi, whom nearly all the
Franciscans in Albania had voted for). Father Doday, it is interesting
to note, is of Slav nationality, for he comes from Janjevo in Kossovo,
but he studied in Italy, and has abandoned the ways of his ancestors.
This town of some 500 houses, inhabited by Slavs from Dalmatia and a few
Saxons who are now entirely Slavicized, still retains a costume that
resembles the Dalmatian, as also a rather defective Dalmatian dialect.
The Austrians for thirty years endeavoured to Albanize them, but the
people resisted this and boycotted the church and school. The priest
Lazar, who defended their Slav national conscience, was persecuted and
forced to flee to Serbia--he is now Mayor of Janjevo. It usually
happened, by the way, that the priests of this Catholic town came from
Dalmatia; but the Slav idea could bridge over the difference between
Catholicism and Orthodoxy, so that if no Catholic priest was available
his place would be taken by an Orthodox priest from a neighbouring
village. Only a few of the natives are anti-nationalists, having been
brought up, like Father Doday, in some Italian or Austrian seminary.
There are in Albania to-day about ten such priests who come from
Janjevo.... How well this Father Doday has served his masters may be
seen in the case of the Franciscan priest in Shala, who, with the whole
population of armed Catholics, resisted the Italian advance of 1920.
Together with Lieut. Lek Marashi he organized komitadjis in Shala and
elsewhere, his purpose being to liberate his country from the Italians.
Since these latter could do nothing else against him they compelled the
Bishop of Pulati to punish him; however, all that the Bishop did was to
tell the patriot priest to go away. But Father Doday was more willing to
work for the Italians; he excommunicated his fellow-countryman, on the
ground that he would not come to Scutari, where his life would have been
in danger.


But, you may say, one cannot in fairness expect the new Albanian
Government to achieve in so short a time what the Serbian Government has
effected among the Albanians of Kossovo, who are being persuaded to
relinquish their devastating custom of blood-vengeance. Prior to March
1921, over 400 of its devotees and of brigands had given themselves up
in Kossovo--turning away from the old days when, as one of them
expressed it, "a shot from my rifle was heard at a distance of three
hours' travel"; one of the most eminent among them disdained to
surrender to a local authority and made his way to Belgrade, where he
presented himself one afternoon to the astonished officials at the
Ministry of the Interior. "After all," as Miss Durham has written, "the
most important fact in northern Albania is blood-vengeance." What we
must set out to probe is whether the Albanians, if they are left to
themselves, will be able after a time to administer their country in a
reasonably satisfactory manner.... Their culture is admittedly a very
low one. In the realm of art a few love-songs and several proverbs were
all that Consul Hahn could collect for his monumental work,[78] though
his researches, which lasted for years, took him all over the country.
One of these love-songs, a piece of six lines, will give some idea of
their æsthetic value; a lover, standing outside the house of his lady,
invites her to come out to him immediately; he threatens that if she
disobeys him he will have his hair cut in the Western style, nay more,
he will have it washed and then he will return, howling like a dog.
Consul Hahn's summing up of the Albanians, by the way, stated that the
social life of Cæsar's _Bellum Gallicum_ was applicable to the tribes
which now inhabit southern Albania, those of the north not being equal
to so high a standard. Yastrebow, the well-known Russian Consul-General,
tells us of the villages of Retsch and Tschidna, where in winter men and
women clothe themselves with rags, in summer with no rags--so that in
the warmer months a visitor, presumably, in order not to shock the
natives, would take the precaution of depositing his clothes in some
convenient cavern. On the other hand, when the ladies in waiting on the
Princess of Wied drove out in low-cut dresses, it being warm weather,
the people of Durazzo were scandalized at what they called the terrible
behaviour of their Prince's harem. These mountain people live on maize
and milk and cheese--salt is unknown to them. Baron Nopsca is regarded
by the few educated Albanians as the most competent foreign observer. He
knew the language well and travelled everywhere. One custom he relates
of the Merturi is the sprinkling of ashes on a spot where they suspect
that treasure is buried; on the next morning they look to see what
animal has left on the ashes the print of its feet, and this tells them
what sacrifice the guardian of the treasure demands--sheep or hen or
human being. Miss Durham says that human excrement and water is the sole
emetic known to the Albanians; it is used in all cases of poisoning. But
the Albanian's death is most frequently brought about by gun-shot. "In
Toplana," as they say, "people are killed like pigs"--42 per cent. of
the adults, according to Nopsca, dying a violent death. "It was her good
government and her orderliness that obtained for her her admission to
the League of Nations," said the Hon. Aubrey Herbert, M.P., in the
_Morning Post_ of November 29, 1921. And the enthusiastic President of
the Anglo-Albanian Society is modest enough to refrain from telling us
how much she was indebted to his own championship. The evil eye is
feared in Albania more than syphilis or typhus. Siebertz[79] mentions a
favourite remedy, which is to spit at the patient. A ceremonial spitting
is also used by anyone who sees two people engaged in close
conversation; very likely they are plotting against the third party, and
by his timely expectoration their wicked plans will be upset.

Absurd as it may sound, there are not a few Albanian apologists who lay
the entire blame upon the Turks. They assert--and it is true--that
Constantinople left this distant province so completely almost to its
own devices that the suzerain might just as well not have existed. A
few Turkish officials lived in the towns, in the country they showed
themselves when they were furtively travelling through it; and the chief
officials, such as the Vali of Scutari, were wont to be Albanians. And,
being left by the Turks to evolve their own salvation, they turned
Albania into a region of utter darkness--at any rate, they did
practically nothing to shake off the barbarism which they had inherited.
They have certain alluring attributes, such as their unpolluted mediæval
ideas on the sanctity of guests and the punctilious maintenance of their
honour,[80] their readiness to die for freedom as well as for a quarrel
about a sheep, and their not infrequent personal magnetism. They are
very abstemious, their morals are pure, they have certain mental
qualities, as yet undeveloped, and they are thrifty. But "they are so
devoid of both originality and unity," says Sir Charles Eliot,[81] that
acutest of observers, "that it is vain to seek for anything in politics,
art, religion, literature or customs to which the name Albanian can be
properly applied as denoting something common to the Albanian race."

The apologists, such as Miss Durham, argue that the other Balkan peoples
suffered from a good deal of internal tumult after they had set
themselves up as independent countries. And it is submitted that the
Albanians would gradually develop the same national spirit as their
neighbours. But there are as yet, Miss Durham must acknowledge, very
few signs that this will ever come to pass.

"We are Albanians," said Monsignor Bumçi, "we ask for Albania! We demand
it! Surely you can see that we are all marching together, men from all
parts of Albania, marching against the Yugoslavs. I say we are united."

And some miles from Scutari a part of the Albanian army was returning
from a foray into Yugoslavia. When they came into the territory of a
certain tribe they were compelled, by way of toll, to surrender their
booty. Such incidents occurred in several places, so that obviously the
conditions still prevail that were described in 1905 by Karl
Steinmetz,[82] an Austrian engineer who learned the language and
travelled through the country in the disguise of a Franciscan monk. "The
tribes cannot conceive the idea of a higher unity," says he in one of
his valuable books. [So that in attempting to build up the new State
these tribal institutions should be used as much as possible. Except in
the towns, which play a relatively small part in the country's life, the
voting should be by tribes.] "How could a Nikaj and a Shala meet," says
he, "except for mutual destruction? Will a Mirdite for a nice word give
up his bandit expeditions to the plain? The local antagonisms are as yet
far too great." More often than not you would find that the Albanians
regard each other as at the time of the Balkan War, when, for example, a
Serbian cavalry officer took the village of Puka and asked the mayor to
lead him to the neighbouring village of Duci. His worship consented, but
after walking on ahead for half an hour he stopped. "We are now midway
between the two villages," he said, "and I can go no farther." "Unless
you continue," said the captain, "I shall be obliged to have you shot."
"_Nukahaile_ [I don't care]," said the Albanian. "It is all the same to
me whether I am killed by you or by the men of Duci, and I certainly
shall be killed if I show myself there."

"We are all united, Catholic and Moslem. It is splendid!" said Monsignor
Bumçi. "And we are not by any means fanatical--with us it is the
country first and our religion afterwards."

Certainly the Shqyptar is not so good a churchman as we have sometimes
been led to believe. Prenk Bib Doda is said to have cherished the
precepts of the Catholic Church with such devotion that he could not
bring himself to institute divorce proceedings against his childless
wife. We are told that his mother was animated with similar scruples,
and that, to solve this awkward question the old lady one day seized a
rifle and shot her daughter-in-law dead. There is not more truth in this
tale than in that of the brigands who, on a certain Friday, overpowered
and slew a caravan of merchants between Dibra and Prizren. On examining
their spoil they are said to have discovered a large amount of meat,
but, as it was Friday, to have refrained from consuming it. Prenk Bib
Doda was, as a matter of fact, impotent; and his widow, Lucia Bib Doda,
survives him.... One agrees with Monsignor Bumçi that the Albanian is
not altogether so blindly a supporter of his Church as we have been
told, and his murderous intentions against a neighbouring tribe will be
not at all diminished if they happen to profess the same religion as

"Anyone can see," quoth the Monsignor, "that the Government is dear to
us. Men are coming from all over the country, anxious to execute its
wishes and to be enrolled against the Yugoslav."

Yes, we saw numbers of men tramping up to Scutari, from boys to
septuagenarians. They were going to fight--it pleased them enormously.
But if the Tirana Government had ordered them to go back and work on
their fields, if it had asked them to take some precautions against the
ravages of syphilis, if it had expressed the hope that they would no
longer sell their women for an old Martini, or that the village prefects
would pay some regard to sanitary matters--in the whole of Albania, says
Siebertz, there is only one W.C.--then they would have laughed at this
Government which tried to lay a hand on their ancestral liberties.

"The end of it all is," said the Monsignor, "we are Albanians. We demand
the independence of our country."

"As a Latin," writes Professor Katarani,[83] "I was fire and flame for
Albania.... But after a few months I was forced not only to change my
views about them, but to regret all that I had written in the _Mattino_
and the _Tribuna_.... They are not a people, but tribes ... they are
against every principle of public officials, they live the most
primitive lives. I who know Albania from end to end, who have sacrificed
myself for that country, am absolutely convinced that there could be no
greater misfortune than if, in its present state, it were given autonomy
or independence. Otherwise I confess that an Albania free from any
foreign Power would be to the interest of Italy." And he concludes by
saying that the Albanians have done nothing to deserve an independent
State. It is well known that in the Albanian Societies that after May
1913 were engaged at Constantinople and Sofia, at Rome and Vienna, in
striving for the independence of the country it was not the Albanians
themselves who had the chief word. Those who were initiated into secret
Balkan policies were aware that Albania was the domain with which
Article 7 of the old Triple Alliance was concerned.... The fiery
Albanian patriot, Basri Bey, Prince of Dukagjin, also agrees that in the
beginning an independent Albania would be productive of anarchy. "I
greatly regret to acknowledge it," says he,[84] "but Albania is, so to
speak, the classic type of a country which has never had a real
government." Nevertheless, he is strongly in favour of independence, his
reasons being because Albania is "at the same time the old mother and
the youngest daughter of the Balkans." This flamboyant prince and doctor
and deputy who denounces both Essad Pasha and his nephew Ahmed Beg Mati,
has got his own panacea for the country, which is a Turkish army of
occupation commanded by a French general. Basri Bey seems to confirm the
remarks of his more enlightened co-religionists, Halim Beg Derala and
Zena Beg, for whereas the Moslems can claim no more than a rather larger
third of the inhabitants, he calmly assumes that the whole country is
Moslem. Albania, he says, is now more than ever attached to Turkey, for
the attachment is purely moral. ... The influence of this gentleman
seems to be confined to Dibra, but he has a good opinion of his own
importance. In 1915, in the days of the greatness of Essad Pasha, he set
up a Government at Dibra with himself as Prime Minister and Essad Pasha
as his Minister of the Interior! There does not seem to be much
justification for Basri Bey to call himself a prince. He is a Pomak, for
his ancestors were Bulgars who accepted Islam. His father was an
official of the Turkish Government at Philippopolis.

Father Fichta told me that his countrymen would do very well indeed if
they could import from other parts of Europe financial help, technicians
and judges. Some years ago the Turks settled to send two judges to
Scutari; then the Albanians would no longer be able to charge them with
not administering the law, so that each man was obliged to take it into
his own hands. "It is entirely your fault," said the Albanians, "that we
are driven to adopt the method of blood-vengeance." So thoroughly did
they adopt it that the assassinations in the region of Prizren,
Djakovica and Peć amounted, according to Glück, to a total of about
six hundred a year. The Turks therefore sent a couple of judges to
Scutari, and on the day after their arrival they were murdered.

What memory have the Albanians of their own great men? One sultry
afternoon, as we were driving in a mule cart from the quaint town of
Alessio, the driver lashed his mule with a long stick; but after half a
mile of this, the animal applied a hind-leg sharply to the driver's
mouth. He roared and fell back in our arms and bled profusely and was
doctored by the fierce gendarme, who put a handful of tobacco on the
wound, so that the driver had to keep his mouth shut. For the remainder
of the afternoon our mule went at a walking pace, and presently, to
while away the time, we begged the gendarme and a merchant of Alessio,
who was travelling with us, to repeat the song of some old hero, such as
Skanderbeg. They stared--their mouths were also shut. And finally the
gendarme said he knew a hero-song. It dealt with Zeph, a man with
sheep, and Mark who stole them. "Give me back my sheep," said Zeph. "No,
no!" said Mark. "Beware!" said Zeph. And one day, as he hid behind a
wall, he fired at Mark and slew him. "That is the song," said the
gendarme, "about the hero Zeph."

To whatever state of culture the Albanians may climb, I think it will be
generally agreed that some régime other than unaided independence must,
in the meantime, be established there. One hears of those who argue that
Albania should forthwith be for the Albanians, because they are a gifted
and a very ancient people. They are not more gifted than the Basques,
and their antiquity is not more wonderful. Nor do they stand on a higher
level of culture with respect to their neighbours than do the Basques as
compared with theirs. Not many tears are shed by the Basques or by
anyone else because those interesting men are all the subjects of France
or Spain.


If only the Albanian question would be taken in hand by
humanitarians.... Here you have one and a half million of wild
children.... Build them schools and roads, police their country--they
themselves agree that the savage atmosphere in the northern mountains
was radically altered by the Austrians when they occupied that country
during the War. One has heard of numerous philanthropic societies in
Great Britain whose object has been more remote and less deserving; if
some such society would turn to Albania, their educational and economic
labours might, after a time, be made self-supporting by the permission
to exploit--of course, with due regard to Albania's future--the forests
and mines. "To be master in Albania," says M. Gabriel Hanotaux, "one
would have to dislodge the inhabitants from their eyries"--(another
French statesman has used a less exalted simile: "Albania," M. Briand
once said, "is an international lavatory")--and it goes without saying
that any corporation which undertakes to civilize the Shqyptart would
need to bring in a military force, on similar lines to the Swedish
_gendarmerie_ in Persia. The Swedes, in fact, who are a military nation,
might be glad to accept this mandate; the expenses could be met by an
international fund. A certain number of Albanians would be admitted to
the _gendarmerie_; and the more unruly natives would be dealt with as
they were, for everybody's good, by Austria.... The Yugoslavs would then
be delighted to accept the 1913 frontier, which is also what the
Albanians ask for; and Yugoslavs, Italians and Greeks would all retire
from Albania. There is really no need for the Italians to demand Valona
or Saseno, the island which lies in front of it. The Italian naval
experts know very well that the possession of Pola, Lussin and Lagosta
would not be made more valuable by the addition of an Albanian base.


But as Europe has not arrived at some such solution, and since the
Albanian Government has been prematurely recognized by the Powers, then
while the Albanians are engaged in the stormy process of working out
their own salvation, it is only fair that Yugoslavia should be given a
good defensive frontier. The 1913 frontier is only possible if the
Albanians are pacific, but as it has now been thought wise to set up an
unaided and independent Albanian State there is nothing more certain
than the turmoil of which its borders will be the scene, and this will
be so whether the Italians do or do not come to the Albanians'
assistance. What hope is there of even a relative tranquillity on the
Albanian border when so many of the natives, preferring Yugoslav rule to
that of their own countrymen, will be waging a civil war? That this
preference is fairly widespread one could see in 1920 by the number of
refugees on the Yugoslav side of the frontier. [Of course, a large
number of Albanians also fled to Scutari and elsewhere from the
districts lately occupied by the Yugoslav army. In both cases the
refugees were moved sometimes by hopes for a brighter future, sometimes
by fears which were caused by their clouded past. To speak first of
those who fled on account of a guilty conscience, it is evident that
these were more numerous among the refugees in Albania than among those
in Yugoslavia, for it was the Yugoslav authorities and not the Albanian
who extended their sway. Mr. Aubrey Herbert, M.P., wrote[85] "that in
the North the Yugoslavs had destroyed more than 120 Albanian villages."
It would have been interesting if he had given us their names, because
the Yugoslavs appear to have set about it so thoroughly that one cannot
find anything like that number on the Austrian maps, which are the best
pre-war maps for those regions. The Anglo-Albanian Society tells the
British public, in November, 1920, of the 30,000 destitute refugees in
Albania, and in such a way that the cause of their exodus is ascribed,
without more ado, to the terrible Yugoslav. But as the names are known
of a good many Albanians who did not wait for the Yugoslav army, on
account of past troubles between themselves and Yugoslavs, as also
between themselves and other Albanians, it would have been as well if
the Anglo-Albanian Society had reminded the public that all who fly in
those parts are not angels. It would, on the other hand, be just as rash
to sing the undiluted praise of those Albanians who, at odds with the
Tirana Government, thought it opportune to leave their native land; but
one can safely say, I think, that among these wanderers there was a
larger proportion of laudable men....] Yugoslavia attracts the Albanians
for more than one reason--not so much because the ancestors of many of
these Muhammedan Albanians were, and not so long ago, Christians, as
because inclusion in Yugoslavia would be to their economic
advantage--Scutari can scarcely exist without the Yugoslav hinterland,
while the people of the mountains are longing for that railway which the
Yugoslavs will only build over land which is moderately immune from
depredation. Other causes which have made so many of the borderland
Albanians--to speak only of them--turn their eyes to Yugoslavia are the
admiration which any primitive people feels for military prowess and the
knowledge of what has taken place in the Prizren-Peć-Djakovica
region since it came into possession of the Serbs in 1913. Let us in the
first place see what sentiments are now entertained by the Albanian
natives of that region towards their rulers. It goes without saying that
these sentiments are perfectly well known to those Albanians who live
outside the Yugoslav frontier.

Well, at Suva Rieka, near Prizren, for example, I found that all the
Muhammedan inhabitants of Serbian origin are aware that they used to
celebrate the Serbian national custom of "Slava," still keep up the
Serbian Christmas Eve customs and often practise the old Christian nine
days' wailing for the dead. Some of us may think that this new
pro-Serbian tendency is rather on account of utilitarian reasons; the
great thing is that it should exist. With rare exceptions, the people of
Suva Rieka used to live by plunder; now they are sending their children
to the Serbian school, at any rate the boys, and for the study of
religion the authorities have made arrangements with a local Moslem. It
is to be regretted that Miss Edith Durham, whose writings were so
pleasant in the days before she became a more uncompromising
pro-Albanian than most of the Albanian leaders, says that if these
children go to Serbian schools it merely shows to what lengths of
coercion the Serbs will resort. In 1912-1913 Serbian and Montenegrin
officers seem to have told her that severe measures would be employed
against any recalcitrant Albanian parent who might decline to send his
son to school. Assuming that these officers were not young subalterns,
that they were quite sober and that they were not rudely "pulling Miss
Durham's leg," it may be urged that even if the children be driven to
school at the point of the bayonet, such conduct would compare
favourably with that of the Albanians towards the Serbs in Turkish
times. Talking of coercion, I suppose that the progress in agricultural
methods which one sees around Prizren is only further evidence of
Serbian tyranny. The _gendarmerie_ on the country roads is composed
largely of Muhammedan Albanians--doubtless the Serbs have coerced them
by some horrible threats. And if Miss Durham were to hear that Ramadan
(_né_ Stojan) Stefanović of the village of Musotisti had decided to
return to the Orthodox faith to which his brothers George and Ilja had
been more faithful than himself--such variegated families are not
uncommon--I believe, though I may be doing her an injustice, that her
first impulse would be to write to the papers in drastic denunciation of
the Serbian authorities. They have, like most of us, sufficient to
regret--for example, the person whom they sent to Peć, when they
wanted the land to be distributed, was King Peter's Master of the Horse.
He was thoroughly unsuitable, and caused a great deal of

There was a time at the rather gloomy town of Djakovica, when, owing to
the blood-vengeance, the Merturi were unable for eight years to enter
the place; now they come in, merely to gaze at the Serbian major who is
in command. Halim Beg Derala, the aristocratic and wealthy ex-mayor, who
as a pastime used to plan an occasional robbery in Turkish days, told
me--he speaks a little French, in addition to Albanian, Turkish, Serbian
and Greek--that citizens were often unable to leave their houses for two
months at a time,[86] and although every house was provisioned for a
siege, yet one frequently had to manage without bread. Now the
candid-eyed, fair-bearded priest rides out with Ljuba Kujundjić, the
erstwhile leader of komitadji, in order to negotiate with the Albanian
Zeph Voglia, at that personage's own request, for his surrender to the
Serb authorities. Zeph has written from a forest that he feels uneasy,
because he owes sixteen blood-vengeances. He asks that his affairs may
be settled by the law, and those sixteen pursuing countrymen of his have
signified that this will meet their views, since in the first place the
Serbs are disinterested in the matters between them, and, secondly, the
Serbian penalties are not so mild as theirs, not permitting that a
murder shall be expiated by the payment of a moderate sum or that a
guilty party may absent himself for three years and suffer no further
loss than the devastation of his house. Another sphere in which the
Serbs have gained Albanian sympathies is with regard to the disputed
ownership of land. Even as the Moors have been in the habit of handing
down, from father to son, the key of some Sevillan house that vanished
centuries ago, the Montenegrins, more fortunate, have been appearing
with the ancient title-deeds of lands that now are in Albanian
possession. According to Serbian law it is the oldest document which
prevails. And the Albanians are generously compensated.... Those who,
with the highest motives, advocate "Albania for the Albanians," may
argue that the mediæval activities of Riza Beg and Bairam Beg Zur--whose
adherents started shooting at each other every evening after six o'clock
in the refuse-laden streets of Djakovica--would have been concluded and
would not have been continued by their sons even if the Serbs had not
appeared. Let them, before proclaiming the modern reasonableness of the
Albanians, recollect that in 1919 the Moslem Bosniak ex-prisoners
required on the average three months in order to traverse central
Albania, the country of their co-religionists. From village to village
the Bosniaks made their way, earning a little and then being plundered
at the next place. Eighty per cent. of this population believe, in their
fanaticism, that the Sultan will again unfurl over them his flag and
that the world will ultimately be converted to Muhammed. And if,
entertaining such ideas, they are so rigorous towards their
fellow-Moslems, what prospect is there that this 80 per cent. will
assist the Orthodox and Catholic Albanians in building up a State? Their
ferocity, in fact, is so profound that it thrives on a diet which is
chiefly of milk.... Perhaps a day will come when the Albanian will
submit to be ruled by a member of another tribe, when local politics
will engage his attention less than the silver, iron, copper, arsenic
and water-power of his country. Perhaps the day will come. Midway
between Djakovica and the monastery of Dečani there stand two large
houses side by side. In 1909 a man belonging to one of them slew four
men of the other house, and on account of this he fled beyond the Drin,
together with thirteen other men of his family. There is no knowing how
long these refugees would have stayed away if that part of the country
had not come under Serbian rule, but in 1919 negotiations were set on
foot which--to the satisfaction of the members of the other house--would
enable the thirteen innocent refugees to return, while the criminal
would be arrested.

As evidence of the cordiality now prevailing between Albanian and Serb
in Yugoslavia, one may mention those cases where the Albanians in 1919
entered into a bond that for six months they would exact no
blood-vengeance from their fellow-countrymen; the number of these debts
which hitherto had been regarded as debts of honour was very
considerable, for they were not only incurred by assassination but could
also be in payment of a mere scowl or of your wife, from within the
house, having heard the voice of another man raised in song. The Serbian
authorities are hoping confidently that the Albanians who have thus for
a season placed themselves under the law will be ready in the future to
pledge themselves. They are beginning to see that in a place the size of
Djakovica it should be possible to make a wheel, that one should be able
to find a shop whose contents are worth more than 100 francs, that the
breed of their cattle, of their sheep and goats and horses could be
vastly improved, that if their land were sanely treated it could be
rendered much more fertile, and that their system of fruit cultivation
is absurdly primitive.... And with Djakovica and the whole region of
Kossovo being treated as we have shown by the Yugoslavs I think it will
be almost as great a surprise to the reader as it was to the local
population when he learns that in a memorandum of April 26, 1921, the
Tirana Government complained to the League of Nations that the Yugoslav
civil and military officials were behaving in a very pitiless fashion
towards the Albanians. Certainly they have not as yet established
Albanian schools, but they propose to do so when there is accommodation
and when teachers are available; and then, maybe, to the disgust of Miss
Durham, Mr. Herbert, etc., the Albanians of the district will, with an
eye to the future, prefer to visit the Yugoslav schools.


Having glanced at what the Serbs have done in such a very short
time--most of the years since 1913 being years of war--to win the
gratitude of their Albanian fellow-subjects, we shall, in following a
possible frontier between Yugoslavia and the Albanians, at any rate
believe that many Albanians of those thus coming under Yugoslav rule
would regard the change, as well they may, with equanimity. Suppose,
then, that the frontier were to run along the watershed at the top of
the mountain range to the west of Lake Ochrida. The people living to the
east of this line in that district would acknowledge their Serbian
origin. Thence passing to the neighbourhood of the village of Lin and
from there in a northwesterly direction, so as to include in Yugoslavia
the Golo Brdo, the so-called Bald Mountains, whose thirty villages are
inhabited by Islamized Serbs who only speak, with very rare exceptions,
the Serbian language, one may say that not only would their inclusion in
Yugoslavia be beneficial to these people, but that they would accept it
with alacrity. No very deep impression has been made upon them by the
religion to which, not long ago, they were converted. In the Golo Brdo
it was in great measure due to the Greek Church which, about the middle
of the nineteenth century, left the region without a single priest, so
that children of the age of eight had not been christened, and the
people in disgust went over to Islam. Near Ochrida, some of them were
asked whether they frequented the mosque.

"Never," they replied.

"What is your religion?"

"Well, it is very strange," they told us, "but we have none."

"What religion did you formerly have?"

"Well, we don't know."

Their priest roams the mountains with his gun, and there has been a
tendency, since a man in this position received his salary from the
State, for many to persuade the mufti to appoint them, irrespective of
whether they could read or write. The devout Moslem is, to the
exclusion of everything else, a Moslem; but in these districts, where
the faith was assumed in a moment of pique or as a protection, and where
the Muhammedan clergy has been so negligent, the people are gladly
cultivating their Christian relatives. In the district of Suva Rieka one
hears of conversions to Christianity, and the functionaries bring no
pressure to bear, unlike the misguided Montenegrin officials who in 1912
rode into Peć, the old Patriarchate, and wanted in their delight to
have everyone immediately to adopt the Orthodox faith. Now the
authorities, with greater wisdom, do not interfere in these matters.
They know that Yugoslavia will have no enemy in that house in the
village of Brod, between Tetovo and Prizren, where two brothers are
living together, of whom one went over to Islam. They know that the
Muhammedan Krasnichi of Albania are proclaiming their kinship with the
great Montenegrin clan of Vasojević, that the Gashi are calling to
the Piperi and the Berishi to the Kuči. The new cordiality will be
impaired neither by the differences of religion nor by the similarity of
costume. The average Albanian of Djakovica would not be any fonder of an
Orthodox fellow-citizen if the latter continues to wear the Albanian
dress which was generally adopted about a hundred years ago, and the
Vasojević may please themselves as to the wearing of a costume which
they once found so useful in the Middle Ages. They happened to be for
ten days in the Hoti country for the purpose of wiping out a blood
affair, and when they were about to fall into the Hoti's hands they
shouted, "What do you want with us? We are Kastrati!" The Kastrati, to
whom these Albanian-clad people were led, confirmed the statement, so
that the Vasojević earned for themselves the nickname of

From the Golo Brdo the best frontier would pass north-eastwards to the
Black Drin and along that river until it is joined by the White Drin.
This is a poor country whose inhabitants are, for the most part,
Moslemized Serbs. About a hundred men are now engaged in excavating the
very finely decorated Serbian church at Piškopalja on the Drin--much
to the edification of the local Moslems. This church of their ancestors
was covered in during the Middle Ages in order to conceal it from the
Turks. Too often the natives' present occupation is brigandage; but from
of old they have had economic relations with Prizren, to which old town
of vine-arched, narrow, winding streets and picturesque bazaars these
countryfolk have been accustomed to come every week. These Moslems (of
whom there are some 100,000 in the department of Prizren, with 13,000
Orthodox and 3000 Catholics) used to detest the Christians on account of
their religion, although half of the Moslems could speak nothing but
Serbian. The Serbs, it must be admitted, were not always blameless; in
the early nineties, for example, they suspended a pig's head outside the
mosque. And the amenities of Prizren were complicated by the hostility
between Orthodox and Catholic. This was largely due to the fact that, by
the intervention of the French Consul after the Crimean War, the
Catholics--descendants of Ragusan emigrants of the Middle Ages--had
secured the former Orthodox church of St. Demetrius, in which church, by
the way, the services had come to be held in Albanian. When the Vatican,
in the second half of the nineteenth century, sent a Serbian priest, the
congregation had become so thoroughly Albanized that after a year he had
to leave. The propaganda of Austria, Italy and Russia did nothing
towards persuading the three religions of Prizren to regard each other
in a more amicable fashion; while Italy and Austria gave exclusive
assistance to the Catholics, whom they found in such distress that,
forty years ago, most of them went barefoot, the presence of the Russian
Consul was of such importance to the Orthodox that their position at
Prizren was better than in their old patriarchal town of Peć.
Nowadays, with Austrian and Russian propaganda deleted, there is only
that of the Italians, whose proposal to create an independent Albania
(under Italian protection) was at first applauded by some simple folk in
1919. The Moslem took to accepting Italian money and then honourably
informing the Yugoslav authorities that they had been appointed as
agents of Italy; they offered to capture the Franciscan priests with
whose help the Italians were trying to secure the Catholics; and as for
the cash, it seems mostly to have been spent in a convivial fashion by
the Moslems and the Serbs together. This friendship appears likely to
continue, for the Serbian authorities, so far from countenancing such
pranks as that of the pig's head, do not even propose to reconsecrate
their ancient church of Petka. When this building was made into a
mosque, the Moslem still permitted the Christian women to come and pray
there, while if a Christian man was sick they let him leave a jar of
water in the mosque all night, so that it might acquire certain
medicinal properties. It is the intention of the Serbs not to restore
the church to Christian worship, but to turn it into a museum.

With the frontier then being drawn along the Drin, towards the Adriatic,
the famous villages of Plav and Gusinje would definitely pass to
Yugoslavia, in accordance with the wishes of a deputation sent by them
to Belgrade in 1919. The well-meaning British champions of Gusinje, who
maintain that this village is furiously antagonistic to the Slav and is
ready to struggle to the uttermost rather than be incorporated in a Slav
kingdom, these champions do not, I think, draw a sufficient distinction
between Montenegro and Yugoslavia. Plav, with its mostly Christian
population, and Gusinje, where the Moslem preponderates, refused at the
time of the Berlin Congress to be given to Montenegro, with which they
had certain local quarrels. Nicholas reported to the Powers which had
awarded him these places that they were obdurate, for which reason he
was given in their stead a much-desired strip of coast, down to
Dulcigno, and nothing could have suited that astute monarch better.
Nikita--to call him by his familiar name--imagined that the two villages
would eventually fall to Montenegro, because of the formidable mountains
which divide them from the rest of Albania; the road from Gusinje to
Scutari is very long and very arduous. When Montenegro succeeded in
capturing Plav in 1912, a certain Muhammedan priest of that place joined
the Orthodox Church and was appointed a major in the Montenegrin army.
He acted as the president of a court-martial, and in that capacity is
reputed to have hanged or shot, some say, as many as five hundred of his
former parishioners, because they declined to be baptized. He told them
that their ancestors were all Serbs, and that therefore they should
follow his example. Since the Montenegrins did not restrain this
over-zealous man, the villagers were naturally not in favour of that
country. Montenegro had a very small number of good officials, owing to
Nikita's peculiar management which, in considering his favourites, did
not regard illiteracy as a bar to the highest administrative or judicial
post.... The people of Plav and Gusinje have, on the other hand, no
hostility against Serbia. In November 1918 a detachment of thirty Serbs
was stationed at Gusinje, what time certain Italian agents put it into
the shallow minds of some Albanians that Albania desired to be
independent under Italian protection. Nothing happened when a Serbian
force came from Mitrovica, except that these agents and a few of their
tools--be it noted that perhaps half the population is ignorant of the
Albanian language--withdrew to the Rugovo district, where they tried to
induce the people to fly with them, so that the world would hear how
iniquitously the Serbs had acted. Those of Rugovo refused to accompany
them; in consequence of which there was a fight, some houses were
burned, some women and cattle were seized. And afterwards the men of
Rugovo repaired to Gusinje and exacted a vengeance which, the most
Serbophobe person will admit, had nothing to do with the Serbs. The
luckless village of Gusinje was again laid waste in 1919 by the
Montenegrins, but this came to pass as the result of the Montenegrin
clan of Vasojević having their property ravaged by some Albanian
marauders who were prompted by the same Great Power. The Vasojević
believed that this evil deed was done by the men of Gusinje, so that
they destroyed their houses. When the facts were explained to them, the
Vasojević said that they were prepared to rebuild the village. And
now Plav and Gusinje, who ask for Serbian and not Montenegrin officials,
recognize that it is impossible for them to live except in union with
Yugoslavia.... Miss Durham's wrath concerning an affair which happened
during 1919 in this region shows to what lengths a partisan will go. She
complained with great bitterness that the Serbs had actually arrested a
British officer whose purpose it was to make investigations.

The Serbs are human beings and are not immune from error; and Miss
Durham is so determined to expose them that if all her charges were
dealt with from Belgrade it would necessitate the appointment of one or
two more officials. But in this particular case she is not the sole
accuser. A Captain Willett Cunnington--who, according to the President
of the Anglo-Albanian Society, the Hon. Aubrey Herbert, M.P., has
several years' intimate experience of Albania--said in the _New
Statesman_ that in consequence of what occurred to Captain Brodie the
Serbian Government was compelled to apologize abjectly. Now I happen to
be very well acquainted with the stalwart Pouniša Račić, the
Montenegrin who arrested Brodie. Albanians have told me that
Pouniša's knowledge of the north and north-west of their country is
not a matter of villages but of houses. And he has always observed the
customs which prevail in those houses, so that when he is known to be
approaching, the people who live at a distance of many hours will come
to meet him, whether for the pure delight of discharging their firearms
to his greater glory or for the purpose of seeking his advice. It is not
because he has studied jurisprudence in Paris that they respect him in
that bitter region, but because he does not disregard the laws that
govern the wild hearts on both sides of the frontier. Yet I suppose
Captain Brodie had never heard of him--poor Captain Brodie! unconscious
of the great good luck which had brought him into the presence of this
man who could have made his journey much more pleasant for himself and
vastly more profitable for his superiors.

This is what Pouniša Račić told me:

"At the end of January and the beginning of February 1919, we were
having a certain amount of trouble in the Gusinje and Plav district,
where I was acting as delegate of the Belgrade Government. Travellers
were being murdered, telephone wires were being cut, and so forth. In
those parts, which I have known for so many years, it is a good deal
easier to ascertain a criminal's name than to seize him, and I had not
captured these malefactors when one day I had a message to say that a
European Commission was approaching. Later on I was told that
thirty-nine of its members were Albanians. I ordered my lieutenant to
find out whether they were from our territory, in which case they were
to be disarmed and brought to me; or from Albania, in which event they
were to be received politely. A quarter of an hour after this I was told
that they were all well-known brigands from our State, and there was one
specially notorious person, Djer Doucha, who in 1912 was converted to
Christianity and was made a gendarme at the court of King Nicholas; in
1915, after the Austrian invasion, he was reconverted to Islam and
became a sergeant of _gendarmerie_. In that position he killed fifty or
sixty Serbs and Montenegrins, to say nothing of his other acts of
violence. In 1918, for instance, he murdered seven school-children whom
he met on the road.

"I had some urgent business at Plav," continued Račić, "and there
all these people were brought before me. In addition to the thirty-nine
Albanians there were three men in British uniforms. I was acquainted
with one of them, a certain Perola, a Catholic of Peć, a former
Austrian agent who had committed many crimes against the Serbs and had
lately escaped from the prison at Peć. One of the other two said that
he was Captain Brodie, whom the London Government had sent as their
delegate for Albania and Montenegro. I suppose the third man was his
British orderly; I never heard him speak. But Brodie said many things.
One of them (which was quite true) was that his Government had not yet
recognized the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. He demanded the
instant release of his companions. 'Do you know who they are?' said I.
'That is no concern of yours,' said he. 'Well,' said I, 'they are
criminals, and it is for the judges to say whether or not they are to be
liberated.' 'I protest,' he exclaimed, 'in the name of England, against
their arrest!' 'And I thank you,' said I, 'in the name of the Serbian
police, for having brought them here.' 'You are a savage, a barbarous
nation!' said he, 'and you don't deserve to be free and independent.'
'Sir,' said I, 'if you are an Englishman you should know that we are
your allies, that you and we have shed our blood for the common cause.
We love England very much, and I am very surprised to hear a British
officer speak in this way.' Again he demanded to be set free, he and all
his people, so that he could continue his mission; but I told him that
after what I had heard from him and what I had seen of his escort, I
could not permit him to go on to other villages unless he could show me
an authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Belgrade. 'I do
not recognize the Belgrade Government,' said he. 'Whom, then,' I asked,
'do you regard as the legitimate ruler of this country?' 'King
Nicholas,' said he, 'and the Government of Montenegro.' So I advised him
to get a visa from King Nicholas and to come back to perform his
mission, when that visa would be honoured. 'Anyhow,' said he, 'the
people of these parts are against Serbia.' Thereupon I sent for the
chief men and told them to say quite candidly in front of this
Englishman what they wanted. There were five Moslems, including Islam
and Abdi Beg Rejepagić (the leading family) and Ismael Omeragić,
also two Christians, of whom I remember Staniča Turković. 'Long
live Serbia!' they shouted. 'Death to Nicholas and the Albanians!' On
hearing this Captain Brodie was discontented; he told me that I was a
savage and did not know how to esteem an Englishman. 'I esteem you very
much,' said I, 'and because he is wearing a British uniform I won't
arrest this interpreter of yours.' (By the way, Perola was not acting as
interpreter in our conversation, as the captain and I were talking
French.) 'He used to be an Austrian agent,' said I. 'You are a liar!'
cried Brodie; 'I know this man; he was nothing of the sort.' I remained
calm, but I told him that he must not speak to me again in such a way. I
asked him how long he had known Perola, who had got away from our prison
a month ago. 'I have known him for a month,' said Brodie. 'And now,'
said I, 'will you please show me your documents?' 'I have none,' said
he, 'and I do not require any, as I am a British officer.' 'But I have
read in the papers,' said I, 'that your people arrested and shot several
persons who were wearing the uniform of a British officer. If you have
no documents to prove that you are not a spy and that you are a British
officer I shall have to arrest you.' Then he showed me one with some
Italian words on it, I think a permission to go somewhere on the Piave
front. 'From now,' said I, 'you are arrested; no one can come to you and
you cannot leave this house. Prepare yourself to start to-morrow or the
day after, if you are tired, for Peć, and perhaps Skoplje, so that
you may prove your identity.' He protested, and declared that he must
see the people in the neighbouring villages. 'If you are a real
Englishman,' said I, 'I could not allow you to go by yourself, since
there are many Moslems in these parts who have been excited against
England by their hodjas, owing to your war with Turkey. They might kill
you, and I would be held responsible; so that even if you had the
necessary documents I could only let you go if precautions were taken to
guard you. I am sorry,' said I, 'that you should have spoken as you have
done against the Serbs; in fact, it seems to me that you are doing a
disservice to England, and that here in this village I am serving her
more truly.' 'I decline to go to Peć,' said Brodie; 'I want to go to
Scutari.' 'You must go to Peć,' said I. He said that I could
telephone concerning him either to the Belgrade Government or to the
General at Cetinje. 'Unfortunately,' said I, 'it is these people who are
with you who cut the telephone wires two days ago.' After this I
appointed a guard for him. I gave him my room, with soldiers to serve
him, to keep the room warm and bring him whatever food we had. [Observe
that the above-mentioned Captain Willett Cunnington wrote in the _New
Statesman_ that Brodie was treated with "gross indignity."] 'Three
horses were got ready,' said Račić in conclusion, 'and on these
they rode to Peć, accompanied by a guard, both to prevent them from
escaping and from coming to harm.'"[87]

In its old Albanian days the village of Gusinje was perhaps the most
inaccessible spot in Europe--it was rarely possible for anyone to obtain
permission to approach it. Even to Miss Durham, friend of the
Albanians, this people sent a decided refusal. But now, under the
guidance of the Yugoslav authorities, they have abandoned these boorish
ways; Miss Durham could go there at any time, but maybe the village no
longer attracts her.


[We have more than once alluded to the writings of Miss Durham, since
very few British authors have dealt with Albania, and she has come to be
regarded as a trustworthy expert. But the flagrant partiality of her
latest book (_Twenty Years of Balkan Tangle_; London, 1920), which,
moreover, is written with great bitterness, will make the public turn, I
hope, to Sir Charles Eliot, who is a vastly better cicerone. The present
ambassador in Japan is, of course, one of the foremost men of this
generation. His Balkan studies are as supremely competent as his
monumental work on British Nudibranchiate Mollusca, published by the Ray
Society when Sir Charles, having resigned the Governorship of East
Africa, was Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield University. Equally admired are
his researches into Chinese linguistics and his monograph, the first in
the language, on that most obscure subject, Finnish grammar.[88] Will it
be believed that in her account of the Balkan tangle Miss Durham does
not quote Sir Charles Eliot, but Mr. Horatio Bottomley? It seems that
Mr. Bottomley has not devoted much attention to the Balkans, since in
November 1920 he poured the vials of his wrath upon the Serbs, who,
according to his "latest reports from Montenegro," had destroyed no less
than 4000 Montenegrin houses in the district of Dibra, a place which
lies some 75 miles by road from the land of the Black Mountain and
probably does not possess more than two or three Montenegrin houses; but
he flings hard words against the Serbs, and that is good enough for Miss
Durham. On the other hand, Sir Charles Eliot, who has travelled largely
in Albania, wrote the simple facts about that people and they are
obnoxious to this lady. "It is not surprising to find that there is no
history of Albania, for there is no union between North and South, or
between the different northern tribes and the different southern Beys,"
said he in 1900, and such a people does not undergo a fundamental change
in twenty years. "Only two names," says Eliot, "those of Skanderbeg and
Ali Pasha of Janina, emerge from the confusion of justly unrecorded
tribal quarrels.... Albania presents nothing but oppositions--North
against South, tribe against tribe, Bey against Bey." (According to Miss
Durham they are all aflame with the desire to form a nation.) "Even
family ties seem to be somewhat weak," says Sir Charles, "for since
European influence has diminished the African slave-trade, Albanians
have taken to selling their female children to supply the want of
negroes." (The Albanians are "enterprising and industrious," says Miss
Durham.) "In many ways," says Eliot, "they are in Europe what the Kurds
are in Asia. Both are wild and lawless tribes who inflict much damage on
decent Turks and Christians alike. Both might be easily brought to
reason by the exhibition of a little firmness.... Albanian patriotism is
not a home product--had they ever been ready to combine against the Turk
there seems to be no reason why they should not have preserved the same
kind of independence as Montenegro; but from the first some of the
tribes and clans endeavoured to secure an advantage over the others by
siding with the invaders--papers and books on the national movement are
written at Bucharest, Brussels and various Italian towns, but they are
not read at Scutari or Janina. The stock grievance of this literature is
that the Turks will not allow Albanian to be taught in the schools, and
endeavour to ignore the existence of the language; but though the
complaint is well-founded, I doubt if the mass of the people have much
feeling on the subject." ... Those who are rash enough to assert,
because Miss Durham says so, that in the last two decades the Albanians
have made a progress of several centuries may be recommended to the
testimony of Brailsford[89] (1906), of Katarani (1913), and of the
Italian Press which, after the retreat of their army to Valona,
published in 1920 the most ghastly particulars of what befell the
hapless officers and men who were captured by the Albanians.

Let the British public henceforth go to Sir Charles Eliot and not to
this emotional lady for its picture of the unchanged Shqyptar. She
reveals to us that more than one person in the Balkans said that her
knowledge of those countries is enormous; she has knocked about the
western Balkans and picked up a good deal of material, but her knowledge
has its limitations: for example, she makes the old howler of ascribing
Macedonian origin to Pašić, though his grandfather came not from
Tetovo in Macedonia but from near Teteven in what is now Bulgaria. Miss
Durham plumes herself for having sent back to Belgrade the Order of St.
Sava, and seeing that it is bestowed for learning she did well. But even
if her acquaintance with Balkan affairs were more adequate--her
diagnosis of the Macedonian racial problem is extremely rough and
ready--all the writings of Miss Durham are so warped with hatred for the
Slav that they must be very carefully approached. Because she thinks it
will incline her readers towards the Albanians she says[90] that they
were early converts to Christianity. She omits to mention that the
Moslem, on arriving in the Balkans, was able to spread his religion much
more easily in Albania than anywhere else; and again, in the seventeenth
century, when Constantinople offered many lucrative posts to the Moslem
there occurred in Albania a great wave of apostasy. Miss Durham speaks
with pride of the Albanians who during the Great War fought in the
French, Italian and American ranks. Would it not be more straightforward
if she added that large numbers were enrolled in the Austro-Hungarian
army and _gendarmerie_? The special task of the latter was to dislodge
from their mountain fastnesses those Montenegrins who continued to carry
on a desperate guerilla warfare against the invader. To pretend that the
Albanian has earned the freedom of his country by his glorious exploits
in the War is an absurdity. He is a mediæval fellow, much more anxious
to have a head to bash than to ascertain whom it belongs to. The Slavs
have not always treated their raw neighbours with indulgence; in the
Balkan War, when their army marched through Albania to the sea some very
discreditable incidents occurred, whatever may have been the provocation
they received from the sniping natives and however great be the excuse
of their own state of nerves. Yet the first stone should be flung by
that army of Western Europe which, in its passage through the territory
of a treacherous and savage people, has done nothing which it would not
willingly forget. And seriously to argue that the Slavs are of an almost
undiluted blackness, while the Albanians are endearing creatures, is to
take what anti-feminists would call a feminist view of history. Miss
Durham tells us that some years ago she stood upon a height with an
Albanian abbot and promised him that she would do all that lay in her
power to bring a knowledge of Albania to the English. The worthy abbot
may have glanced at her uneasily, but noticing her rapt expression
reassured himself. And she appears to have believed that England,
eagerly absorbing what she told them of this people, would in August
1914 make her policy depend on their convenience. But to Miss Durham's
horror and amazement, Great Britain turned aside from this clear and
honourable duty. She entered the War as an ally of the Slav, bringing
"shame and disgust" upon Miss Durham. "After that," says she, "I really
did not care what happened. The cup of my humiliation was full."]


It is not as if Serbia never made mistakes in dealing with the
Albanians. The Sultan used to govern them by sending in one year an army
against them, and in the next year asking for no recruits or taxes. The
Montenegrins, of whom the older generation was bored when it had no man
to shoot at, used to be on very neighbourly terms with them. Both these
systems the Albanians could understand. But they did not know why the
Belgrade Government in 1878--and it was a mistaken policy--should expel
a number of Albanians from the newly-won zones, thrusting them across
the frontier and putting in their place a number of Serbs who were
settled in Old Serbia. The twofold folly of this plan was not grasped at
the moment; but for several years the Serbian frontier districts were
regularly invaded and plundered. The following years of Turkish misrule,
and especially the young Turkish policy of treacherous force, which
resulted in Albanian risings every year, may possibly have caused many
Albanians to be honestly glad when the Balkan War brought the Serbs into
their country. But of these Albanians not a few would rejoice because
they hoped that with the help of the Serbian army it would be possible
to slay the members of some adjacent tribe against whom they happened to
have a feud. Perhaps the Serbs were so eager to bathe their horses in
the Adriatic that they did not notice such trifles as the destruction of
a ford, this having been done to prevent a visit from undesirable
neighbours. One might have imagined that Serbia, being well known as a
land of small peasant proprietors--where there is even a law which
forbids a peasant's house from being sold over his head; he is, under
any circumstances, assured of so much as will enable him to eke out a
livelihood--one would have thought that the Albanian _čifčija_,
who is nothing more than a slave of the feudal chief, would have
rejoiced at the arrival of a liberator; and indeed, while the Serbian
troops were in Albania the peasant refused to give his lord the
customary third or half of what the land produced, and after the
departure of the Serbs he was unapproachable for tax-collectors. Who
knows whether this social readjustment, so auspiciously begun, might not
have made Albania wipe out her grievances against the Serbs and remember
only that in the Imperial days of Dušan, even if he was not of the
most ancient Balkan race, there was prosperity and happiness where now
is desolation; busy merchants in the seaport towns of Albania, which
now are ruins; ships sailing in from Venice with the luxuries of all
the world and taking back with them all those good things, a half of
which Albania has forgotten how to make? And after that there had been
times of friendship with the Serb--Dositej Obradović, the philologist
(one of those amiable persons who invented for the Albanians an
alphabet), tells us, for instance, how in his travels through Albania he
was assured by natives that they and the Serbs lived together as if they
were members of one family, while the Kući in eastern Montenegro had,
by a gradual process of assimilation, become transformed from Catholic
Albanians into Orthodox Montenegrins. It is told that in the wondrous
hours when the _čifčija_ gloried in the soil he was about to win,
even the notoriously wild Klementi, filled with hunger for the land, ran
down from their fastnesses. But, most unfortunately, at that moment the
Great Powers decided that Albania was to be an autonomous, hereditary
State. This interrupted the movement towards reconciliation with Serbia;
and even now the Serbs will be told by many encouraging people that in
their efforts to win the regard of Albanians they have an impossible
task, that if some of them take a step towards you one day they will
rush back a dozen on the day after. These people will repeat the legend
that the Albanians have an invincible hatred for the Slavs; but the
Albanians have not forgotten how, in the course of the Middle Ages, they
were willingly open to Slav penetration--the Serbian language reached to
beyond Alessio, the small Albanian dynasties intermarried with Slav
ruling families, so that they preferred to speak Serbian, and down to
this day two-thirds of the place-names of northern Albania are of Slav
origin. One of the most important documents in this connection is a
letter from the town of Dubrovnik to the Emperor Sigismund in the year
1434. They inform the Emperor that Andria Topia, lord of the Albanian
coast, has secretaries who know nothing but the Serbian language and
alphabet. Thus when the Emperor sends him letters in Latin he is obliged
to have them translated elsewhere, and the contents of the Imperial
letters are not kept secret. So the Emperor was forced to write to Topia
in Serbian.... Long memories are not always inconvenient, and Albanian
memories are long because, until recent years, all that they knew came
from tradition--Austria and Italy had not yet become so concerned about
Albanian education that (forgetting their own illiterates in Bosnia and
Calabria) the two Allies waved into existence boys' and girls' schools
up and down the country; so desirous were they that these founts of
knowledge should be patronized that both Italians and Austrians were
prepared to pay good money and eke a supply of garments and a
gaily-coloured picture of King or Emperor, as the case might be; and
with respect to the cash, not only was each willing to pay but to pay
more than the other. Yet the Albanian is most mindful of tradition, and
he is aware that his approach to the Slav in the Middle Ages was blocked
by the inopportune arrival of the Turks; it is in the nature of man that
the Albanian was more impressed by the brilliant young States of the
early princes, with that barbarically sumptuous residence at Scutari
(the Catholics of Scutari also being in the diocese of Antivari, which
was under Serb domination) than, centuries later, when he found himself
confronted with the pitiable population of Old Serbia.

In the Sandjak the task of Yugoslavia will be relatively simple; the
Albanians who live there are not autochthonous, but arrived at the
beginning of the eighteenth century on the plateau of Pechter. These
Klementi--then very numerous--cared nothing for their Serbian origin, so
that the Patriarch of Peć had to protect himself against them by
means of a janissary guard--which the Sultan permitted him to maintain
at his own expense--whereas they were attentive to the teachings of
their religion, in so far as they obeyed the Catholic missionaries who
dwelt among them and requested that in their forays they should confine
themselves to Muhammedan and Orthodox booty. One of the places they
attacked was Plav, from which they drove the population, and themselves
henceforward took to living on the fertile fields in summer, while they
spent the winter in some mountain caverns. But after seven years a large
proportion of this tribe went back to its ancestral stronghold in the
Brdo range, from which the Turks had transplanted them to the Sandjak.
This wish of theirs to go to their old home was gratified after they
had beaten off the Turks triumphantly in various engagements on the way,
and even pursued them to their trenches.... The Klementi who had stayed
on the Pechter were further depleted a few years later, when their
kinsfolk, answering the appeal of the Archbishop of Antivari, rode up
there and carried off fifty families who were on the eve of renouncing
their religion. The final group which remained became Moslem, and with
such ardour that when the Serbs of Kara George reached the Sandjak they
found that these Klementi were completely Islamized; they resisted the
Serbian army with the utmost resolution. Subsequently they attempted to
convert the Serbian population round them, but with mediocre success,
for the Klementi themselves were not too strong; moreover, they were
isolated from the other Muhammedan Albanians.

And yet certain incidents which occurred in the Sandjak during the Great
War seem to show that even there the task of dealing with the population
is a troublous one. They are conservative; one sees, for example, a
woman who has got up very early holding aloft a vessel against the sun.
This is done with the object of preventing the cows of a certain man
from giving any milk. But the man is on the alert. He shoots the vessel
out of her hand and proceeds, with an easy mind, about his business.
Frequently the Austrians disarmed these men, but it is their practice to
have more rifles than shirts, although during the occupation a rifle
cost twenty napoleons. It occurred to the Austrian Governor-General of
Montenegro, Lieut. Field-Marshal von Weber, that these Albanians were
children and, if treated well, would make useful volunteers. A party of
them was thereupon sent to Graz, where they were told that they would be
trained to fight on behalf of the Sultan. Their military education was a
trifle agitated--for instance, on their second day at Graz they thrashed
their officers--but when their training was considered adequate they
were sent to the front, and there they immediately surrendered to the
Italians. This was not the first time that a body of Albanians had gone
to Austria. In 1912, for the Eucharistic Congress at Vienna, some two
dozen of them, in their national costume and conducted by their
priests, had taken part in the procession. It is said that the financier
Rosenberg, of whom one has heard, bore a portion of the pretty large
expenses of the deputation. His title of baron dates from this period.
Austria's work among the school-children was no more successful than
among the adults. Remembering that just outside Zadar lies Arbanasi, or
Borgo Erizzo, a village of 2500 inhabitants, nearly all of whom are
Albanians, it seemed good to the Austrian authorities to procure from
that place a schoolmaster who would make suitable propaganda. There was
at Arbanasi a teachers' institute, as also an Italian "Liga" school
which was closed by the Austrians during the War, and when the
schoolmaster arrived at Plav, where the people speak Serbian, he set
about teaching the children Albanian and also making propaganda for
Italy, as he was from the "Liga" school.... That fidelity of the five
hundred men of Plav who clung, as we have related, to their religion,
had its pendant when the Austrians were engaged in constructing a road.
The custom was for a potentate of that district to procure for the
Austrians a sufficient number of men, to whom three or four crowns a day
would be paid. Any man who disregarded the potentate's summons was
thrashed by him, and thrashed in such a way that for three days he was
prostrate. The late Chief of Police at Sarajevo, Mr. Ljescovac, was
(being a Bosnian subject) administering this district during the
Austrian occupation. He tried frequently to get particulars from the men
who had been so mercilessly flogged, with a view to opening an inquiry.
Their invariable answer was: "I know nothing."

In the days of Charles, another member of the Topia family, a copyist,
who was in his service, was transcribing the Chronicle of George
Hamartolos, and twice, thinking of his master, he inserts: "God, help
Charles Topia." As we leave the Serb and the Albanian face to face,
sensitive, imaginative, tenacious people, both with very ancient claims,
we must hope that a happy solution will be found. After all Serbia,
being in Yugoslavia, is now a Muhammedan and a Catholic Power. She has
men at her disposal, such as Major Musakadić, a Bosnian Moslem who
deserted from the Austrian army to the Serbs, fought with them on
several fronts and received the highest decoration for valour, the Kara
George; then, after the War, he was sent by the Government to command at
Brćko, a place in his native Bosnia where there is a Moslem majority.
A few of the Orthodox protested energetically that they would not have a
Moslem over them; they were received by the Minister of Justice in
Belgrade. "Gentlemen," said he, "go back to Brćko and when anyone of
you has earned the Cross of Kara George I shall be glad to see him here
again." ... As in the old days, the Serbian civilization is far
superior, but this is not everything; that the Albanian is ready to meet
it with peace or war he shows clearly as he glides along in his white
skull-cap, his close-fitting white and black costume, with his
panther-like tread and with several weapons and an umbrella.

But for the various reasons to which we have alluded he is now much more
inclined to live in peace with the Yugoslav. Very differently, except if
they are charged with gifts, does he receive the Italians; even at the
moment of accepting their gifts of military material and cash he regards
them with a more or less concealed derision, for he is impressed, as we
have pointed out, by nothing so much as by military prowess and the
reverse, whereof the news is carried far and wide. At the end of
September and beginning of October 1918 two weak Yugoslav battalions of
about a thousand rifles accomplished at Tirana what the large Italian
forces could not, at any rate did not, achieve. Ten thousand Austrians
were in the town, and for three months the Italians had sat down outside
it. Then the Serbs descended on the place from the mountains; their
carts came by the ordinary road, and on arriving at the Italian lines
the drivers asked for hay; but when they explained that the rest of
their force was going round by the mountain trail the Italian commandant
refused to give any supplies to such liars. (Later on, though, he gave
them sufficient for five days.) When an Austrian officer who was
stationed in a minaret saw the Serbs coming down from those terrible
heights he was so astonished that he felt sure they must be robbers. And
after they had captured the town and the Italians conducted themselves
as if it were they who had conquered it, the Serbs took to thrashing
their allies and ejecting them from the cafés. The Italians did not


To sum up this part of our long and, I fear, rather tiring dissertation
on the Yugoslav-Albanian frontier that is to be: the Yugoslav delegates
at the Peace Conference invariably disclaimed any desire to have
Albanian lands conferred on them against the wish of the inhabitants.
According to Prince Sixte of Parma, the ex-Emperor Karl was disposed to
offer to the Serbs as a basis of peace a Southern Slav kingdom
consisting of Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina and the whole of
Albania. But this last item only made it clear that in his brief tenure
of the throne the Emperor had grasped something of the grand generosity
of European statesmen when they deal with the possessions of other
people in the Near East. The Albanians are not Southern Slavs, and it is
merely the voice of the thoughtless mob in Montenegro which has been
claiming Scutari for the reason that they held it in the Middle
Ages--several of their rulers are buried there--and because 20,000
Montenegrins gave their lives to take it in the Balkan War. Responsible
persons in Yugoslavia, such as Dr. Trumbić, the former Foreign
Minister, do not believe that Scutari is a necessity for their
State--whether Yugoslavia is a necessity for Scutari is another
question--and they hold that it is quite possible to preserve the 1913
frontier (perhaps with a minor rectification in Klementi) and live in
friendship with their neighbours. This, of course, is under the
assumption that these neighbours will "play the game"--and it is just
this which the Albanians will be unable to do if they are left to their
own slender resources. How could one expect so poor--or shall we say so
unexploited?--a country to make any social progress without the help of
others? It has become the habit of many Albanians to accept financial
assistance from Italy; if an independent Albania is now established
these subsidies will be increased--and he who pays the piper calls the
tune. If, however, an arrangement could be made for helping the
Albanians--and the country undertaking this would have to be devoid of
Balkan ambitions on its own account--then the 1913 frontier would be
possible. No doubt the cynics will say that the Yugoslavs are aware that
this is an unlikely solution, and that failing a disinterested Power,
whose supervision would cause the Albanians during the troublesome
civilizing process to be moderately peaceable neighbours, failing such a
Power the Yugoslavs would feel that they were justified in asking for
the frontier of the Drin. But this frontier I have heard advocated less
by Yugoslavs of any standing than by those Albanians who despair of the
administrative capacities of their fellow-countrymen. The Yugoslavs have
not the smallest wish to add to their commitments, and even if all the
Albanians on the right bank of the Drin were anxious for Yugoslav
overlordship--and this, naturally, is not the case--there would be
serious hostility to be expected from some of those on the other bank.
If no disinterested Power, such as Great Britain or Sweden, will take
the matter in hand, then Dr. Trumbić has an alternative proposal,
which is for a free, independent Albania (with the 1913 frontier) which
would exist on the Customs and on a loan made by the Great Powers, who
would put in a Controller charged with seeing that the money were spent
on roads, schools, etc. A police force, and not an army, would be
maintained; while, if need be, the country could be neutralized; and Dr.
Trumbić, within whose lifetime bandits and heiduks were roaming
through Bosnia, believes that the Albanians would gradually discard
their cherished system of feuds.... This would be the happiest solution,
for it would leave the Balkans to the Balkan peoples, while it would aim
at the development of whatever good qualities there are in the
Albanians, and it would definitely recognize a Yugoslav-Albanian
frontier which is acceptable to both countries.


While Europe in the year 1921 was either exhausted or belligerent, or
both, she had a vague knowledge that hostilities were being carried on
between the Serbs and the Albanians. Telegrams from Rome, Tirana and
elsewhere appeared in the papers, saying that the Serbs continued to
advance. Occasionally a Serbian statesman would declare that his
Government desired the independence of Albania. Then some Albanian
delegate in Geneva would make a protest and ask the League of Nations,
of which Albania was now a member, to take this matter in hand. A
Serbian delegate would also address the League. Again you would hear of
the Serbian army pushing forward, that a good many soldiers had fallen.
And no one seemed to know why the Serbs would want to shed their blood
in order to add to their miscellaneous problems this very grave one of
administering such a region inhabited by such a people. Why did they not
content themselves with the frontier which the Powers temporarily
assigned to them in 1918 and which, from the junction of the Black and
White Drin, runs south along the rocky right bank of the river and then,
crossing to the other side, passes along the top of a range of
mountains? What more could they wish to have, presuming that it was not
their intention to annex what lay between them and the Adriatic?

Well, it appears that never once did they go beyond the aforementioned
line to which they were legally entitled, except when for a short time
they were in pursuit, towards Ljuria, of certain invaders. Not only were
they legally entitled to take up their position on the mountains to the
west of the Black Drin, but the Moslem tribes, the Malizi and the Ljuri,
who dwell in that uninviting district, were most anxious that the Serbs
should come and should remain. For this the tribes had two principal
reasons: in the first place, they recognized that their compatriots in
Djakovica and Prizren were immeasurably better off than before they came
under Serbian rule; and secondly, they did not wish to be separated from
these towns which are their markets. In fact, they had become so anxious
to throw in their lot with the Slavs that they formed six battalions,
which operated on both banks of the river, under the command of Bairam
Ramadan, Mahmoud Rejeb and others. In opposition to these battalions
were the troops of the so-called National Government, that of Tirana.
This Government is repudiated by a great many Albanians on account of
its reactionary methods, its subservience to the Italians, and its
failure to do anything for the people. The battalions, then, were
engaged in 1921, not against their immediate neighbours to the west, the
Catholic Mirditi, of whom we shall speak anon, but against the more
distant Government of Tirana. Thus the League of Nations beheld that the
administration which they were about to confirm as the legitimate
Government of Albania was violently opposed by compact masses of
Catholics and Moslems. Perhaps some of the members of the League began
to doubt whether they should have accepted the assurance of the
Anglo-Albanian Society that the Tirana Government (containing Moslem,
Catholic and Orthodox members) was really a national affair; perhaps
they began to suspect that the two Christian elements were only there to
throw a little dust in the eyes of Europe; and perhaps Lord Robert Cecil
began to feel doubtful whether, at the urgent request of his friend Mr.
Aubrey Herbert, President of the Anglo-Albanian Society, he had been
well advised to bring about the admission into the League of a country
which had two simultaneous Governments before it had a frontier. Perhaps
one was beginning to recognize that there are Albanians but no Albania.

The emissaries of Tirana might depict as of no importance the
hostilities that were being waged against them by those Moslem tribes,
they might tell the League of Nations that the Mirdite revolution was
not worth considering. It is a fact that the Mirditi are not very
numerous, but in close connection with their 18,000 people are the Shala
with 500 houses and the Shoshi with 300. Tradition has it that they are
descended from three brothers who set out from the arid village of
Shiroka on Lake Scutari to seek their fortune. The most ancient, the
most noble and important family of northern Albania is that of
Gjomarkaj, whose seat is at Oroshi, the capital of the Mirditi. Despite
enormous difficulties they succeeded in maintaining their own position
and the prestige of the Mirditi. They refused to recognize the Turkish
Government and clung so tenaciously to their own usages and laws, and
were so famous for their courage that the Sultans were eager to grant
them privileges and concessions. Thereafter they promised to assist the
Sultan against external aggression, and always did so with great
success. It was due to the Mirditi that the Albanian mountaineers
preserved their nationality, their religion and their customs, for they
were ever the leaders of the other Albanian tribes. The most prominent
of the Mirditi in our time have been Prenk Bib Doda, who, after long
years of exile, was assassinated in Albania; Mark Djoni, now the
President of the Mirdite Republic; and, above all, the great Abbot
Monsignor Primo Doci, a man of vast culture, who returned to his own
country after serving the Vatican as a diplomat in various parts of the
world. It is not surprising that the educational standard of his native
land filled him with the determination to build schools and that, owing
to his efforts, the Roman Catholic establishment of thirty native
priests and of bishops who were nearly all foreigners has developed into
a body of almost three hundred native priests with no foreign bishops. A
poet himself, he founded the literary society, _Bashkimi l'unione_, in
which all capable patriots were invited to collaborate. He constructed
more than twenty strongholds in and around Oroshi, and when he died in
February 1917 it was largely owing to the persecution which he suffered
at the hands of the Austrians. What has latterly aroused his faithful
people is the persecution levelled at them by the Moslem-Italian
Government of Tirana.

A certain amount of mystery envelopes the death of Bib Doda; an opinion
widely held is that Italians were responsible, but Mr. H. E. Goad
rebukes me in the _Fortnightly Review_ for not knowing that the Italians
laid aside the crude methods of political murder centuries ago. Perhaps
he doesn't regard the massacre of the helpless French soldiers at Rieka
in 1919 as political murder, since they were only privates; perhaps he
doesn't count that famous expedition of the five lieutenants to
assassinate Zanella, because it was unsuccessful; but he may be right
concerning Bib Doda. That personage had been to Durazzo to confer with
the Italians; he had refused to accept an Italian protectorate in
Albania, and on his return he was killed in his carriage before he could
reach Scutari. The chief assailant was a Catholic of Klementi, believed
to be an adherent of Essad Pasha and also an Italian "agent
d'occasion." Yet as several Italian soldiers who accompanied Bib Doda
were wounded it would seem that those, myself included, who believed
that this affair had been arranged by the Italians were wrong.

As for Bib Doda's fortune, Mr. Goad asserts that by Albanian law he did
not have to leave it to his nearest kinsman, Marko Djoni. That is, I beg
to say, precisely what he had to do according to the custom of their
ancient family. Mr. Goad says that the cash went to the poor; I say that
a good deal of it went into the pocket of a lady who was much younger
than the dead man and was on excellent terms with an Italian major. If
Mr. Goad had visited Albania at that time and had been interested in
other things besides what he tells us of--the moonlight of Klisura and
the splendid plane trees over the Vouissa and the sunrise reflected on
the gleaming mountain-wall of the Nemorica--I would not have to tell him
all this about Bib Doda's money. He says that Marko Djoni is a
discredited, disgruntled person who became a tool of the Serbs and fled
to Serbia. But he forgets that Bib Doda was killed in March 1919, and
that until May 1921 Marko Djoni remained in Albania, enjoying the
friendship of Italy rather than that of Serbia. In fact it was not easy
for him to abandon this friendship, owing to various deals in connection
with the Mirdite forests. No doubt he resented the loss of his heritage;
but why in the name of goodness should not he and his followers fight
for their liberty, and why should the Serbs not help them at a time when
the frontiers of Albania had not been fixed nor the Government
officially recognized? The Serbs were helping him to make war, says Mr.
Goad, against his legitimate rulers. Yet we must be lenient with our Mr.
Goad, for he himself admits that "few can write of Balkan politics
without revealing symptoms of that partisan disease." He has made up his
mind that the Serbs are the villains of the piece, and there, for him,
is the end of it.

A delegation from the Mirditi, consisting of the Rev. Professor Anthony
Achikou and Captain Dod Lléche, came to Geneva in October 1921, and
requested the League not to issue a confirmation of the Tirana
Government. They showed that this Government had no other aim than to
turn Albania into a small Turkey. No doubt the Moslems, as the most
numerous element, had a right to have a majority in the Cabinet, but
there was no justification in their appointment of pure Turks. (The
Tirana Government proposed in the autumn of 1921 that any Albanian
coming from Turkey, who has held a public office there, shall be refused
admittance into the Albanian Administration until two years after his
return. This is a proposal but not yet, I believe, an effective law.)
The Minister of Justice has been old Hodja Kadri, and the Minister of
War one Salah el Din Bey, an officer of Kemal Pasha, and neither of
these was acquainted with the Albanian language. When the Mirditi
started to show their dislike of this Government, the War Minister
commanded his troops to slay without mercy anyone who dared to raise his
voice. Thus it came about that the villages of Oroshi, Laci, Gomsice and
Naraci were destroyed, while those of the inhabitants who could escape
fled across the frontier to Serbia. As for particular cases of iniquity
we may instance that of the Moslem officer, Chakir Nizami, who, as a
manifestation of his hatred for the Christians, had violated at Scutari
a girl of fourteen whose name was Chakya Hil Paloks. He was sentenced by
the French military authorities and was liberated by the Minister of
Justice as soon as the French had quitted Scutari. On the other hand,
Kol Achikou, a brother of the delegate, had killed a Moslem in
self-defence and been acquitted by the French court martial; after their
departure he was taken to Tirana and sentenced to death. But apart from
all such misdeeds the Mirditi complained that the Tirana Government,
which could not openly wage war with Serbia, had organized the "Kossovo"
Committee, whose object it was to foment trouble in Serbia and to send
armed bands of marauders on to Serbian territory. At the very moment
when the delegation was at Geneva, one of these bands (in the night
between October 12 and 13) raided the village of Mojište, near
Gostivar. Furnished with Italian machine guns and bombs they came over
the mountains, set fire to the village and killed many of the people as
they fled. They are accustomed on such expeditions to steal the children
and hold them to ransom--a lucrative operation which d'Annunzio's
arditi[91] may have copied from their Albanian colleagues. It would
seem, then, according to the statement of the Mirditi, that in the
conflict on the Black Drin, of which Europe had vaguely heard, the
Tirana Government and not that of Serbia was the aggressor. Mr. Aubrey
Herbert may write pathetic letters to the Press, Miss Durham may write
letters of indignation, but how could their protégés of Tirana be said
to be valiantly defending themselves against the wicked Serbs when the
very villages which, said Mr. Herbert, were destroyed--Aras and Dardha
and so forth--were situated in the district to which the Serbs were
legally entitled?

The Mirditi delegates had an interview in Geneva with Lord Robert Cecil.
An attempt was made by the Tirana delegates to discredit Professor
Achikou, by publishing a telegram from Monsignor Sereggi, the Archbishop
of Scutari (but which the Professor accused the rival delegate, the
bearded, bustling Father Fan Noli, of having composed himself),[92] and
in that message it was stated that Achikou was expelled from Albania.
This he did not deny; he was, he said, one of 4000 who had been driven
out by an arbitrary Government and he hoped that they would soon be able
to return. The message called Achikou a traitor; but that is a matter of
opinion. It said that he was in the service of a foreign Power; he
replied that the Mirditi had never concealed their wish to live in
friendship with their neighbours, and the proof that they envisaged
nothing more than friendship was that they were petitioning the League
to recognize the Mirdite Republic. Among the other charges against
Achikou was one which said that he was sailing under false colours. This
was an absurd accusation, and one which enabled the reverend Father to
mention that his opponent Monsignor, who was then being called Bishop,
Fan Noli, was neither a bishop nor an Albanian, but a simple priest, a
Greek from Adrianople, whose real name was Theophanus.[93] This clever
man, who had decided to form an Orthodox Albanian Church and had
apparently become its bishop without the formality of consecration, had
enjoyed some success at Geneva owing to his knowledge of languages. He
circulated a telegram from Tirana which purported to be a disavowal of
the Mirditi delegation by a number of Mirditi notables; but a reply was
sent by Mark Djoni, the President of the Mirdite Republic, an elderly
man of great sagacity and experience, for in Turkish times he had been
chief magistrate of the Mirditi. He pointed out that all the notables
and all the tribal chieftains had gone, like himself, into exile, and
that the names were those of insignificant persons who had acted under
fear of death. Djoni did not in this telegram allude to the position of
those Catholic priests and others in northern Albania who support the
Tirana Government and its Italian paymasters; some of them may believe
that they are acting in the interest of their country--to act otherwise
would be perilous, and everyone seems to know the precise number of
napoleons a month--ranging from the 150 of an ecclesiastical magnate
down to 7½ (the pay of a simple gendarme)--which they are alleged to
receive. Do they ever think of the starving Italian peasants?

On October 7 another telegram was sent from Oroshi (the capital of the
Mirditi) to the Tirana Delegation which "protested energetically against
the activities of a certain Anthony Achikou." Yet, on October 9, an
individual called Notz Pistuli, who had travelled specially from
Scutari, presented himself at the Mirdite delegates' hotel, and in the
name of the Scutari National Council asked whether a reconciliation
could not be made between the Mirditi and the Tirana Government.[94]
Being told that the Mirditi would have nothing to do with the Turkish
Government of Tirana, he held out hopes that another Government more
representative of Albania would soon be constituted. It was remarkable
that Tirana should have dispatched this envoy after giving out that the
Mirditi were traitors and that their delegates represented nobody.

Lord Robert Cecil did not at first seem to think that their desire for a
republic independent of Tirana could be gratified, but on being
initiated into the facts of the case and told that definitely to reject
them would look as if he were a foe to Christianity, Lord Robert said
that such was far from being the case. He would do whatever he could to
help them. And on the next day it was decided that, in accordance with
the Mirdite request, a Commission should proceed to Albania.

The Italian delegate, Marquis Imperiali, submitted that there was no
need to hurry this Commission and Monsieur Djoni explained in a
telegram[95] that if the Commission went forthwith it would discover in
Albania cannons, rifles and other war material from Italy, that it would
find numerous Turkish officers of the Kemalist army who had been brought
from Asia Minor in Italian ships, and that it would perceive that the
cannons, the Turkish Government of Tirana, the rifles, the Turkish
officers, certain Catholic ecclesiastics--in a word, the whole of
Albania such as it is to-day is nothing else, said he, but a masked
Italian instrument of war against Serbia--while all the bloody
consequences of this perpetual struggle have to be endured by the border
population.... One afternoon, at the beginning of November, 650 Tirana
soldiers, pursued by the Mirditi, gave themselves up to the Serbian
authorities on the Black Drin. They had with them a dozen officers of
whom two were Italians, and these accounted for themselves by saying
that they had come out to organize and to lead the Albanian army.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, would this be the best solution of the Albanian problem, that the
Mirdite Republic and that of Tirana should both be recognized, since it
is quite clear that it would be immoral--and very useless--for Europe to
try to persuade the Mirditi to place themselves under the Tirana régime?
But there appears to be no doubt that the Moslems of northern
Albania--however much they may now sympathize with the Mirditi in their
attitude towards Tirana--would just as strenuously resist their own
incorporation in a Christian Republic.... Down at the bottom of their
hearts all the Albanian delegates who came to Geneva must know that if
an Albanian State is larger than one tribe it will go to pieces.
Whatever good qualities may be latent in the Albanian, he is as
yet--with rare exceptions--in that stage of culture which has no idea of
duty on the part of the State or of duty towards the State. As an
example of his views on the exercise of authority we may instance the
case of the 82 Albanians, led by Islam Aga Batusha (of the village of
Voksha), who stopped Pouniša Račić and his companions in the
summer of 1921 while they were riding one day from Djakovica to Peć.
Pouniša enjoys the fullest confidence of the border tribes because he
has never been known to break his word; they are very conscious that
even their vaunted "besa" is not nowadays observed as it was, say fifty
years ago, for the Austrian and Italian propaganda schools have had an
unfortunate effect. Well, as the 82 sat round Pouniša and his friends
in the courtyard of a mosque, where they spent the whole day
confabulating, they said they hoped that he, a just and wise man, would
help them; and their principal grievance was that the Serbian police no
longer allowed them to kill each other. Why should the police interfere
in their private affairs? Recently the police had arrested a man whom
one of these protesters wanted to kill, and therefore he thought he
would have to kill one of the police. Even those who have spent their
lives in Serbia are too often at this stage of development--a few years
ago, in the village of Prokuplje, an Albanian assassinated his neighbour
and was sentenced to twenty years' penal servitude. The judge asked the
dead man's brother if he was satisfied. "No, I am not," he answered,
"because now I shall have to wait twenty years to kill him." Their
ancient custom of blood-vengeance continues to flourish, though in
Serbia the police and public opinion are against it; thus, at Luka, in
the department of Peć, one Alil Mahmoud was murdered by a Berisha to
avenge his uncle, so that now the sons of this Mahmoud propose to kill a
Berisha--not the murderer, but one equal in rank to their late father,
and in consequence Ahmed Beg, son of Murtezza Pasha, of Djakovica, is
afraid to leave his house, which the Serbian police, at his request, is

How much the Albanian conceives that he owes a duty to the State may be
instanced by the application of a smuggler that he be granted a permit
to go to Zagreb in order to dispose of 6000 oka[96] of tobacco which he
had brought over the frontier. He was talking to a Serb who has the
confidence of the Albanians because he does not treat them as if they
were Serbs; and when this father confessor advised him to get rid of the
tobacco locally (which he succeeded in doing) the Albanian objected that
the excise officers gave him constant anxiety, they were thieves who
insisted on payment being made to them if they came across his
merchandise. And if it be said that this is too humble a case, we may
mention that of Ali Riza, one of the chief officers of the Tirana army
which was last year operating against the Serbs. So indifferent is he as
to the uniform he bears that the year before last, in Vienna, he begged
an influential Serb to recommend him for a lieutenancy in the Serbian
army. (His request was not granted because it was ascertained that,
besides being unable to read and write, his work as an Austrian gendarme
had been more zealous than creditable.)


What, then, is Europe to do with these wild children of hers?... The
tribes, Catholic and Moslem, who dwell between the Big Drin and the
frontier allotted to Serbia in 1913, asked the aforesaid Pouniša in
1919 to intervene in their quarrels; and the result was that a small
number of Serbian soldiers were scattered about that country. They were
placed at the disposal of the chief, whom they assisted in maintaining
order. (Needless to say, they collected no taxes or recruits, and all
their supplies came to them from Serbia.) The people were impressed not
only by the uniform but by the men's conduct. Before going to these
posts--where they were relieved every two or three months--the men were
instructed with regard to Albanian customs, and no case occurred of any
transgression. So rigidly did they enforce the precept that anyone who
tried to violate or carry off a woman was, if he persisted, to be shot,
that last year, at Tropolje in Gashi, when the girl in question was
said to be not unwilling, they pursued the abductors, and in the
subsequent battle there were fatalities on both sides. The Serbian
soldiers, for whose safety the village was responsible, made themselves
so popular that when the Tirana Government appointed one Niman Feriz to
go to those parts as sub-prefect he was chased away by the people headed
by the mayor of the Krasnichi, who is a nephew of Bairam Beg Zur, the
illiterate ex-brigand and ex-Minister of War of the Tirana Government.

Let this system of small Serbian posts be extended over the whole of
northern Albania, that is to say, in those districts where the natives
are willing to receive them. After all, the Serbs understand these
neighbours of theirs. Telephones and roads will be built and eventually
the railway along the Drin. The northern Albanians will then, for the
first time, be on the high-road towards peace and prosperity; and if the
rest of Albania has by then attained to anything like this condition
everybody would be glad to see a free and independent Albania.

Now what prospect is there of the rest of Albania taking any analogous
steps? If the regions which at present submit to Tirana decline to
modify their methods, it would seem that warfare between them and their
kinsmen to the north and north-east must continue, and that the
foundations of a united, free Albania will not yet be laid. One might
presume, from their bellicose attitude, that the Tirana Government
(extending to and including the town of Scutari) is all against a
pacific solution; and if one argues that their attitude would be quite
different without the support they receive from Italy, then the Italians
would doubtless reply that they have as much right to assist the Tirana
Albanians as Yugoslavia has to assist those of the north.

But this is not the case. Between Italy and the Albanians there are no
such ancient political and economic ties as between the Albanians and
the Serbs. The mediæval connection with Venice has left with many
Albanians a dolorous memory, for apart from the fact that Venice, as in
Dalmatia, was pursuing a merely selfish policy, it was directly due to
her that the Turkish Sultan, in the fifteenth century, was able to
establish himself in Albania. Thrice his troops had been repelled by
those of Skanderbeg when the arrangement was made for them to enter the
fortress of Rosafat in Venetian uniforms, and then four hundred years
elapsed before the Sultan's standard was pulled down. In recent times
the Government of Italy has been furnishing the Shqyptart with schools,
and these were not its only acts of benevolence towards that wretched
people. They have given schools and rifles and munitions and gold. The
Albanians were willing to accept this largesse; but that it forged a
link between patron and client, that it conferred on the Italians any
rights to occupy the country, they denied, and enforced this denial in
1920 at the point of the bayonet. Mr. H. Goad said in the _Fortnightly
Review_ that this remark of mine is quite unhistorical, since Italy,
says he, "was in course of withdrawal when certain Albanians, stirred up
as usual by Jugo-Slavs, attacked her retreating troops." If the
Albanians had only known that Italy, despite her having been, says Mr.
Goad, "supremely useful to Albania," had resolved to quit, they would
perhaps have let them go with dignity. But if Mr. Goad will read some of
the contemporary Italian newspapers he will see that my allusion to the
bayonet was much too mild. Utterly regardless of the fact that the
Italian evacuation was "according to plan," the Shqyptart treated them
abominably--it brought up memories of Abyssinia--or does Mr. Goad deny
that even a general officer was outraged and blew out his brains? This
Albanian onslaught was so far from being stirred up by the Yugoslavs
that, as we have seen,[97] the Belgrade Government refused to furnish
them with munitions. This is not to say that they did not approve of the
Albanian push, for they maintain, in spite of Mr. Goad, the principle of
"The Balkans for the Balkan Peoples." If Italy, as our strange publicist
asserts, has a mandate--presumably a moral one--to defend Albania
against aggression he will find, I think, that the Yugoslavs heartily
agree with this thesis and that they are also quite determined to defend
Albania from aggression.... When he asserts that various ties existed
between Italy and the Albanians--the Albanian language, the feudal
architecture, much that is characteristic in Albanian art and so
forth--I would refer him to M. Justin Godart, with whom I am glad for
once to be in agreement. "There is no traditional or actual link," says
he, "between the two countries; if, on account of this geographical
position, they propose to have commercial relations, then everything has
yet to be established. If there is to be a friendship, we believe that
Italy must do her best to wipe out many memories.... She has not
profited from the large number of Albanians in her southern provinces in
order to have an Albanian policy."

However, the magnanimous Italians came back, declaring that on this
occasion they would not occupy the country (except the little island of
Saseno); but that they really could not restrain themselves from
bestowing the schools, the rifles, munitions and gold. Once more the
Albanians agreed to accept them; they also accepted the Turkish officers
and officials whom the Italian ships brought to them from Asia Minor,
and when their Government became more and more Turkish and more
intractable they found that they had excited the hostility of large
numbers of their own compatriots. This developed during 1921 into
violent conflicts; and the bountiful Italians provided the Tirana
Government's army with expert tuition. Nevertheless, in the Albanians'
opinion, there are no bonds between the two races, and if the Italians
would retire from Albania, permitting the Balkans to be for the Balkan
peoples, and if the fanatical Turks went back to Asia Minor, it would
soon be seen that the present rage between northern and central Albania
would peter out into the isolated murders which the Albanians have
hitherto been unable to dispense with. Left to themselves the Albanians
of Tirana would eventually ask for some such assistance from Serbia as
the northern tribes have received; three months after the departure of
the Italians from Scutari a plebiscite would show that this town, which
has lately gone so far as to refuse--yes, even her Moslems have
refused--to fill the depleted ranks of the Tirana forces, was anxious to
come to a friendly settlement with her Albanian neighbours and the
Yugoslavs. This would be a victory of Scutari's common sense over all
those fanatics and intriguers whose activities involve her death; for
she cannot possibly thrive if she persists in cutting herself off from
the hinterland and from the benefits that will accrue from the
canalization of the Bojana.

However, the Italians--officially or unofficially--will not yet awhile
leave Albania. And how will this retard or modify the reasonableness of
those parts which acknowledge Tirana? As for the town of Scutari, it is
probable that if she found herself permanently cut off by the Mirditi
from direct communication with Tirana she would allow her incipient
independence to come more to the surface. With Tirana less capable of
enforcing her behests the Scutarenes would gradually venture to act in
their own interests; they would aim at local autonomy within the sphere
of Yugoslav influence and in the same sphere as their markets. It is to
be hoped that Yugoslavia will be prepared for this, since she does not
possess too many educated citizens who understand the Albanian
mentality. A course of conduct which pays no attention to this would
alienate even the Turks from Podgorica and Dulcigno, whose acquaintance
with the very language of Albania is so limited. There seems, however,
to be no reason why the mixed population of Albanian Moslems and
Catholics, of Orthodox Serbs and of Moslems who declined to come under
the all-too-patriarchal rule of Nicholas of Montenegro should not have
the same happy experience as the inhabitants of Djakovica and Prizren.
Later on the Scutarenes will be called upon to decide whether they
prefer, like those other predominantly Albanian towns, to remain in
Yugoslavia or whether they wish to throw in their lot with a free
Albania, and in that case their town would become the capital of the
country. Failing Scutari, the capital would most probably be Oroshi,
which is now the capital of the Mirditi.

And why, we may be asked, why should not Tirana be the capital? In the
central parts of Albania, in the country round Tirana, where the natives
are derisively called "llape" by the warriors of the north and by the
cultured Albanians of the south, we believe that the assistance of Italy
will be unable to prevent a collapse. (It must also be remembered that
the people of the district of Tirana are, for the most part, in
opposition to the present Tirana Government. This became clear when the
partisans of Essad Pasha's policy[98] overthrew and imprisoned the
Tirana Ministers.) Economically and morally Tirana will decline, until
she is compelled to seek a union with the people of northern Albania,
those of the south having meanwhile gravitated towards Greece. Then the
moment will arrive when the north and the south, in their task of
building up a free and united Albania, will admit the centre under
various conditions. These will have to be of a rather stern character,
or so at any rate they will seem to the folk of Tirana: taxes will have
to be paid, military service or service in the _gendarmerie_ will have
to be rendered, and schools will have to be established for both sexes.

This, then, is the future country of Albania, which--if one is rash
enough to prophesy--may exist in fifty years. But there is no risk
whatever in asserting that a free, united Albania is in the immediate
future quite impossible.


Berati Beg, Tirana's delegate in Paris, said in an interview with a
representative of the Belgrade _Pravda_, at the beginning of November
1921, that he regretted that European diplomats should interfere in the
Serbo-Albanian question. "Are we not all," said he, "one large Balkan
family? And if the Powers intervene they will not act in our interests,
but in their own." He said that it used to be Austria which grasped at
Albania, now it was Italy. So the delegate showed that he was a
clear-sighted man; he also showed that in Tirana they are not unanimous
in loving the Italians. But alas! the Great Powers, urged by Italy, made
a most disastrous plunge; they actually, at least Great Britain, charged
the Serbs, their allies, on November 7, with being guilty of
overstepping the frontier, and on November 9 informed them where this
frontier was. It is a pity that Mr. Lloyd George should have launched
such a thunderbolt, the French Government not being consulted.[99] But
the most probable explanation of this lack of courtesy towards the
Serbs, and lack of the most elementary justice, is that the Prime
Minister, with his numerous preoccupations, allowed some incapable
person to act in his name.[100] The world was told, however, that Mr.
Lloyd George had sent a peremptory demand for the convocation of the
Council of the League of Nations so that a sanction should be applied
against the Yugoslavs. Mr. Lloyd George's substitute was so little
versed in the business that he did not even know that the League of
Nations is not a gendarme to carry out the decisions of the Ambassadors'
Conference. He should have been aware of the fact that this was a
problem for the Allied States, to be settled by diplomatic or other
measures, and he should also have known that the League of Nations does
not--except if invited to arbitrate--concern itself with the
unliquidated problems left by the War, such as the Turkish question.
Perhaps that dangerous confusion in the mind of this unknown official
would not have occurred if Albania had not been illogically admitted to
the League of Nations. But now, in November 1921, not an instant was to
be lost in settling this frontier question, which--as the _Temps_
pointed out--would have been settled months before if Italy had not
prevented it. (She wished as a preliminary step to have certain claims
of her own in regard to Albania conceded.) So the Council of the League
was to be invited to apply Article 16, which could scarcely be invoked
unless Article 15, which defines a procedure of conciliation, had been
found of no avail.[101] Thus the misguided person who spoke in the name
of Mr. Lloyd George was apparently too impetuous to read the texts. And
then the Serbs were told that they must withdraw practically to the
frontier which Austria, their late enemy, had laid down in 1913. Well
might Berati Beg deplore that Italy should take the place of Austria.
But such commands achieve so little. Very soon, when the troubles in
Albania continue, as they certainly will, Mr. Lloyd George will see that
he was misled.... But here it should be stated that while Italy
persisted throughout in demanding the 1913 frontier (with the
ludicrously inconsistent proviso that she herself should have the island
of Saseno, which in 1913 she had demanded for independent Albania), and
France raised no finger against her, the actual improvements of the
frontier adopted were entirely due to Great Britain. No one is more
qualified to speak on this matter than Mr. Harold Temperley of
Cambridge, who was one of our experts. In his illuminating little book,
_The Second Year of the League_, he has pointed out that the new
Albanian frontiers are an improvement on the old--than which, indeed,
they cannot be worse--because they conform more to natural features,
they take into account an important tribal boundary (leaving the Gora
tribe in Yugoslavia), and restore to both parties freedom of
communication--the road between the Serb towns of Struga and Dibra being
given to the Serbs, while to Albania is given the road from Elbasan to
the Serb town of Lin. The rectifications in the Kastrati and the Prizren
area involve the substitution of natural boundaries for unnatural ones
in order to protect the cities of Podgorica and Prizren. They confer no
offensive advantage on the Serbs, nor do they enable them to menace any
Albanian city.

To any impartial observer it is quite unjust that the Yugoslavs should
have had to plead against the frontier of 1913. They have not the least
desire to plant their flag on those undelectable mountains. If the
frontier of 1913 could be held with moderate efforts against these
people they would not wish to go an inch beyond it. But those who drew
this frontier, namely the Austrians, were not much concerned as to
whether it afforded adequate protection to the Serbs; what they had in
view was to keep them away from the Adriatic (for which reason an
arbitrary line cut through the proposed railway which was to link Peć
to Podgorica and the sea) and to compel the Serbs to station in those
districts a goodly portion of their army, to which end--so that the
frontier should be weak--the towns of Djakovica and Prizren were
separated from their hinterland. The Austrian plan likewise prevented
the towns of Struga and Prizren from being joined by a road or by a
railway along the Drin; to go from one to the other it became necessary
to make an enormous detour. With the rectifications to which we have
referred, the Ambassadors' Conference decided to insist on them
returning to this miserable line, instead of permitting them to take up
their position where General Franchet d'Espérey perceived in 1918 that
they could be fairly comfortable. Monsieur Albert Mousset, the shrewd
Balkan expert of the _Journal des Débats_, has remarked that on too many
parts of the 1913 frontier it is as if one forced an honest man to sleep
with his door open among a horde of bandits.... The Albanian Government,
admitted to the League of Nations in December 1920, claimed that the
international statute of 1913, creating a German prince, the Dutch
_gendarmerie_ and the International Financial Commission--which happened
to be inconvenient--was no longer in force; but that the international
decisions as to the frontiers of Albania--which happened to be
convenient--were still valid. However, during the War the country had
been plunged in anarchy, and the Great Powers decided that Albania was,
in Mr. Temperley's words, a _tabula rasa_, a piece of white paper on
which they could write what they wished. In November 1921 the
Ambassadors' Conference finally decided on the frontiers. The gravest
violation of the ethnic principle was in the Argyrocastro area, where
many thousands of Greeks and Grecophils were handed over to Albania; as
for the Serbs, it was only through the efforts of some British experts
that they obtained any satisfaction at all.

Why did the Ambassadors' Conference arrive at this peculiar decision?
For a long time the European Press had been publishing telegrams which
told how the Serbs were ruthlessly invading Albania. Had they advanced
about half the number of miles with which they were credited, they would
have found themselves near to the offices of those Italian Press
agencies. They were held up to vituperation for their conduct towards a
feeble neighbour. The Mirditi, we were told, had to fly before them;
whereas the truth was that the friendly Mirditi were driving the troops
of Tirana helter-skelter towards the Black Drin, where the Serbs--not
advancing an inch from the boundary which the Allies had for the time
being assigned to them--received their prisoners. Again we were told
that the piratical Serbs had seized the town of Alessio. It must have
annoyed the Mirditi to have this exploit of theirs ascribed to other
people. And if the newspapers contained too many telegrams of this kind
they were strangely reticent with regard to what was taking place in the
shallow Albanian harbours; but the two Italian vessels which--as I
mentioned in a telegram to the _Observer_--were unloading, without the
least concealment, munitions and rifles for the dear Albanians at San
Giovanni di Medua in September 1920, were probably not the only ones
with such a cargo. Europe and the Ambassadors' Conference were simply
told that the truculent Serbs were destroying a poor, defenceless,
pastoral nation. Therefore these Serbs must be ordered back, and
whatever might be the merits of a hostile Austrian frontier as compared
with a well-informed French one, at any rate the first of these was
farther back, so let the Serbs be ordered thither.

It was noticeable that when, on November 17, the British Minister of
Education, Mr. H. A. L. Fisher (representing Mr. Lloyd George),
explained before the Council of the League of Nations why Great Britain
had thought it necessary to act in this Serbo-Albanian affair, he
founded his case not on Article 16 but on Article 12, which obliges two
conflicting nations who are members of the League to have their case
examined by the League. Evidently the suggested application of Article
16 was now acknowledged to have been a mistake. The blundering official
in Whitehall should have seen the dignified sorrow with which Yugoslavia
heard of her great Ally's unjustifiable procedure. So much faith have
the Southern Slavs always had in the Entente's sense of justice that
from 1914 to 1918 they continued to give their all, without making any
agreement or stipulation; more than once the Serbian Government had the
offer of terms from the Central Powers, but on each occasion, as for
example during the dark days at Niš in 1915, they declined to betray
their Allies.

Mr. Fisher announced that the British Government's action was in no way
caused by feelings of hostility against the Southern Slavs. All
Englishmen, in fact, remembered the heroism and fortitude of the Serbs;
they cherished for Yugoslavia the warmest sympathy. In Mr. Fisher's own
case it might conceivably have been a little warmer--he was not ashamed
to repeat the reasons which had induced Great Britain to summon the
Council of the League. Yet he must have known the comment that he would
arouse among his audience when they heard him base his arguments
exclusively upon reports of the Tirana Government, while those of
Belgrade were ignored; and in their place the delegate thought fit to
bring up various extracts which had been collected from the Belgrade
Press. If every organ of this Press were filled with a permanent sense
of high responsibility, and if Mr. Fisher had made inquiries as to the
existence in Belgrade of humorous and ironic writers, one is still
rather at a loss to understand why these miscellaneous cuttings were
placed before the League, which could scarcely be expected to treat them
as evidence. The delegate added that he did not think a single nation
was animated by unfriendly sentiments towards the Southern Slavs--so
that Italy's unflagging efforts to strengthen the Tirana Government's
army were prompted purely by the deep love which the Italians--despite
their having been flung out of Valona--bear for the Shqyptart. Mr.
Fisher proceeded to say that no better proof was needed of the general
friendship for the Southern Slavs than the decision of the Ambassadors'
Conference which, instead of allotting to Albania the frontiers of 1913,
a method that would have been simpler, had resolved on several
rectifications in favour of Yugoslavia, in order to prevent disturbances
on Albania's northern frontier. After what Mr. Fisher had already had
the heart to say we cannot really be astonished that he, or the people
on behalf of whom he spoke, should have thought the enemy-drawn frontier
of 1913 as worthy of the slightest consideration. We are all, I think,
unanimous, said Mr. Fisher in effect, we are unanimous in our esteem for
the Yugoslavs and could do nothing which that nation would find hard to
bear. But after stating that some rectifications had been made in favour
of Yugoslavia he should have referred to the village of Lin on Lake
Ochrida whose transference to the Albanians will probably give rise to a
great deal of trouble, since it is the most important centre for the
fishing industry. A few of the best Belgrade papers, careless of the
more than Governmental authority which they enjoyed in the eyes of Mr.
Fisher, went so far as to allege that Lin's change of sovereignty was
due to the formation on Lake Ochrida of a British fishing company.... We
have said that the frontier rectifications were inadequate; but under
the circumstances they were the best that could be obtained. They were
most bitterly contested by the Italians, who demanded, as we have said
above, that Yugoslavia should be given the 1913 frontier. France did
nothing to help the Yugoslavs in this hour of need, and had it not been
for the absolutely determined support of Great Britain the pernicious
frontier of 1913 would have been adopted intact.

Coming to the Mirdite revolt, Mr. Fisher's description is hardly what
you would call felicitous. Mark Djoni and the other members of the
Mirdite Government were compelled last July to seek refuge at Prizren in
Yugoslavia, and since then they have conducted their affairs from that
place. These circumstances, in Mr. Fisher's opinion, go to prove the
existence of a Yugoslav plot whose aim it is to separate northern
Albania from the Tirana Government. Again Mr. Fisher points an accusing
finger at the Yugoslav officers who, in August, were helping the
Mirditi; but is it not more natural that these officers should give
their services to the Christian tribes for whom, as Mr. Bošković,
the chief Yugoslav delegate, said, the Southern Slavs do not conceal
their sympathy[102] nor the hope that they will gain the necessary
autonomy--is not this more natural and more deserving of Mr. Fisher's
approbation than the fact (of which he says no word) that the Moslem
Government of Tirana has had the active assistance of Italian officers,
such, for example, as Captain Guisardi, who, in the sector of Kljesh,
has been in command of the artillery? A further proof that the Mirdite
movement has been engineered by the Southern Slavs is, in Mr. Fisher's
opinion, the damning fact that the Republic's Proclamation was composed
in Yugoslavia and dated there--how brazen some people are! And the
official Yugoslav Press Bureau has actually circulated the announcements
of the Mirdite Republic. The question is whether the Yugoslav Government
was more than benevolently neutral in thus assisting their guests at a
time when these had not yet got their machinery into working order. When
the Mirdite Government had made suitable arrangements it spoke to the
world through its representatives at Geneva or through direct
communications to the British and French Press. Surely, in considering
whether the Yugoslav Government allowed themselves to exceed the limits
of neutrality, one must remember that the Mirdite authorities at Prizren
were out of all touch with their own army, which was engaged in a
guerilla warfare. In conclusion, according to Mr. Fisher, the British
Foreign Office was persuaded that the Mirdite Republic was nothing but
an instrument of the Yugoslav Government, and that desire for Albanian
unity extended also to the Christians of that country. The Foreign
Office had, no doubt, been told that the Tirana Government received the
support, at last spring's elections, of some north Albanian deputies;
and possibly they gave no credence to the rumour that these gentlemen
were much indebted to Italian support. It may have been mere harmless
curiosity which kept Captain Pericone, the Italian commander, during all
that day at the Scutari polling-booths, but what is certain is that,
owing to the influx of Italian money, the value of a hundred silver
crowns in the morning was 92 lire, and in the afternoon had fallen to
75. It is likewise a fact that numerous Malissori, finding themselves
for the first time in possession of bundles of paper and feeling far
from confident that this was money, hurried off to the bazaar and spent
it all. Thus were the four friends of the Moslem-Italian[103] Government
elected, the four deputies who were in favour of Albanian unity under
that Government; three of them are Christians (Messrs. Fichta, Andreas
Miedia and Luigi Gurakuqi); one, Riza Dani, is a Moslem. How the latter
travelled to Tirana I do not know, but the three Christians found that
the population was so incensed against them that they could not go by
the direct road; they were forced to sail down the Bojana on the Italian
ship _Mafalda_, and then along the coast. This, I presume, will be
considered sufficiently strong evidence that these deputies did not
represent the people, and that their independence was not exactly of the
sort ascribed to Gurakuqi by a writer in the _Times_;[104] one need not
labour the point by mentioning what happened to Father Vincent Prênnushi
whose candidature was vetoed in Rome, so that he was replaced by Father

This being the state of things one can scarcely argue that the people of
the north are in favour of a united Albania, as it seemeth good to the
Ambassadors' Conference, the League of Nations, etc. "We Germans,
knowing Germany and France," said Treitschke in 1871, "know what is good
for the Alsatians better than these unfortunates themselves.... Against
their will we wish to restore them to themselves." The north Albanian
deputies may join with those of the south and call themselves the group
of "sacred union"; but they themselves are well aware that it is only in
the south-central districts that the Government has a majority. That is
one of the reasons why the seat of Government is Tirana in the central
part of the country, for the Cabinet lives in apprehension of the
followers of the late Essad Pasha, and by residing in that country they
hope to be able to keep it quiet. How long will they be able to do so?
Have they statesmanship enough to turn aside the animosity of their own
countrymen? Does their Premier and Foreign Minister, Mr. Pandeli
Evangheli, possess intellectual resources of a higher order than those
which one commonly associates with the ownership of a small
wine-shop?--that was his occupation till he came, some two years ago,
from Bucharest. When this gentleman had a, perhaps temporary, fall from
power, the _Times_ of December 16, 1921, wrote of him that "there is no
Albanian public man with a better record for long disinterested service
in his country's cause." Alas, poor Albania! We may surmise that Mr.
Evangheli and his companions do not rely very greatly on their Western
European patrons who, when it comes to the pinch, will do very little
for them. I should be surprised to hear that they have caused the
provisions of the Ambassadors' Conference to be traced in golden letters
on a wall of their council chamber. And I doubt whether they take very
great stock of a resolution signed in November 1921, by some twenty
Members of Parliament and a few outside persons. These expressed their
approval of Mr. Lloyd George's step in convoking the League of Nations
for the settlement of the Serbo-Albanian question. If this resolution
served no other purpose it showed, at any rate, that the signatories are
such thoroughgoing friends of the Tirana Government that they rushed
enthusiastically to their assistance, though their deep knowledge of
affairs--without which, of course, they would never have signed--must
have caused them to regard the Prime Minister's impulsive action with
something more than misgiving. It is a minor point that the signatories
sought to enlist the world's sympathy on the ground that a small
"neutral State" had been wantonly attacked by the Serbs, because if this
accusation were true it would not be worth objecting that the Albanians
were scarcely a State (though some of them were trying to make one) and
that their neutrality during the War consisted in the fact that they
were to be found both in the armies of the Entente and--rather more of
them, I believe--in those of Austria. But the accusation is untrue;
there are, undoubtedly, a number of fire-eaters in Serbia, as everywhere
else, yet the Government is not so childish as to wish to squander its
resources in a region where there is so little to be gained. (The Tirana
correspondent of _The Near East_ said on November 3, 1921, that the
Serbian Government was reported to be committing unwarrantable acts,
giving as an example that Commandant Martinović had had six million
dinars placed at his disposal in order to recruit komitadjis and that he
had himself promised 2500 dinars to each of his men if they succeeded in
entering Scutari. But this gentleman, a retired officer, lives almost
exclusively at Novi Sad, where his very beautiful daughter is married to
M. Dunjarski, one of the wealthiest men in Yugoslavia. Yet neither his
son-in-law nor the Serbian Government has ever given General
Martinović the afore-mentioned sum or any sum at all for the
afore-mentioned purpose. He goes at rare intervals to his old home in
Montenegro, of which country he was once Prime Minister. It is natural
that the numerous refugees from Albania should flock round him--in view
of his own past prominence and of M. Dunjarski--begging for money and
food.) The protesting British Members of Parliament registered their
sorrow that the Serbs should have employed on their anti-Albanian
enterprise "the strength and riches which they largely owed to the
Allied and Associated Powers." I was under the impression that the Serbs
had expended a far greater proportion of their strength and riches than
any of the Allies,[105] that the Allies had, in 1915, left them in the
lurch, and that the final success on the Macedonian front was due quite
considerably to the genius of Marshal Mišić and the valour of his
veterans. As for the strength and riches which the Southern Slavs
possessed in 1921, it surely would not need an expert to perceive what
the Southern Slav children knew very well, namely, that they could be
more profitably employed in many other directions. May better luck
attend the future labours of these Members of Parliament.... A week or
so before the publication of this foolish manifesto there had been
issued an equally deplorable Memorandum by the Balkan Committee (of
London), which, I am glad to say, caused Dr. Seton-Watson to resign from
that body. This jejune and impudent Memorandum attempted to dictate the
terms of the Constitution of the Triune Kingdom--an attempt very rightly
reprobated by _The Near East_.[106] If the Yugoslav Government were to
adopt the recommendations of the Balkan Committee they would, it seems,
be in a fair way to solve the Albanian question. Likewise that of
Macedonia--when will the Committee cease to trouble Macedonia? Their
object, in the words of Mr. Noel Buxton, is to aim at allaying the
unrest in the Balkans; it would--I say it in all kindliness--be a move
in that direction if the other members were to follow Dr. Seton-Watson's


What of the population which inhabits the zone between the two frontier
lines? We have alluded to them as a horde of bandits, we have also
spoken of the six battalions which they placed at the disposal of the
Yugoslavs. If it is true that a poet has died in the bosom of most of
us, it is equally true that in most of the Albanians a brigand survives.
And if not a brigand, then a mediæval person with characteristics which
are more pleasant to read about than to encounter. Yet the Shqyptar, as
he calls himself (which means the eagle's son) is not without his
aspirations. Reference has been made to those northern tribes, such as
the Merturi and the Gashi, who benefited from the small Serbian
detachments which came in answer to their urgent wish. And on the Black
Drin the six battalions have shown their fidelity. There would be no
need to guard oneself against such people. But unfortunately the
Albanian is so constituted that if, in a hamlet of ten houses, five of
them are amicably disposed towards you, there is a strong tendency among
the others to be hostile. When these torch-bearers of an ancient
tradition come under the rule of an organized State, then they gradually
feel inclined to discard some of their customs which the State frowns
upon. This can be seen in the changes among the people of Kossovo since
it came into Serbian hands. Were the country between the two frontier
lines to remain under the Serbs it would not be long before some of the
time-honoured sensitiveness of the Albanians towards each other and
towards each others' friends would vanish--though it has been found that
it takes a number of years before they cease observing or from desiring
to observe the very deeply-rooted custom of blood-vengeance.

A good many of the border Albanians have made it clear that they wish
for some sort of association with their more cultured neighbours. But on
this point they are by no means unanimous. The unregenerate part of the
people will not be able to resist an occasional foray into Yugoslavia.
And although the reputation which the Serbs have left behind them may
induce the tribes to be, for the most part, good neighbours, yet they
have not been long enough under the civilizing process, and the more
advanced among them would agree with the Yugoslavs that it would have
been better for that régime to have continued over them. You may object
that the finest patriots of the Albanians would have preferred to remain
outside Yugoslavia. But they know that there are many thousands of their
contented countryfolk in the neighbouring Kossovo and, what is more,
they know that the towns of Kossovo are their markets.

The Yugoslavs have bowed to the decision of their Allies. And the
official champions of the too-ambitious League of Nations--overjoyed,
after various failures and after the Silesian award, to have really
accomplished something, and something with whose merits the public was
far less familiar than with the Silesian fiasco--performed a war-dance
on the Yugoslavs. If that people had been as obstinate, say, as the
Magyars in the case of Burgenland, no doubt it would have come to
another Conference of Venice; and Yugoslavia would, like Hungary, have
returned from there with something gained. But, of course, when it is an
affair between Allies one scarcely likes to behave in that stubborn and
unyielding manner which is apparently the right--at all events, the
successful--conduct for a whilom foe. If the Yugoslavs, in simply
accepting the judgment of their Allies, acted against their own ultimate
advantage, they can, at any rate, believe that their complaisance, their
extraordinary lack of chauvinism, will be recognized. It is true that
when, on former occasions, such as during the prolonged d'Annunzio farce
at Rieka, they displayed a similar and wonderful forbearance, they did
not manage to free themselves from this foolish charge. There happen to
be a good many people abroad who insist that the new States are, every
one of them, chauvinist; they think it is the natural thing for a young
country to be, and especially if part of it lies in the Balkans. But if
Yugoslavia repeatedly acts in the most correct fashion the day may come
when she will be able to put a lasting polish on to the reputation which
her Allies have tarnished.


We may look forward to seeing the majority of this frontier population
resolved that the links between themselves and the Yugoslavs shall not
be broken. Very little will they care for the edicts of European
Ambassadors. It would not have been surprising to hear that on the
withdrawal of the Yugoslavs to the prescribed frontier their resourceful
friends beyond it had procured from Serbia a few volunteers to take the
place of the official Serbs. And failing this, that rough-and-ready
people might simply declare themselves to be in Yugoslavia. This time
they will be unable to persuade the Yugoslav Government to move its
excise posts more to the west. But if these tenacious men have made up
their minds to join their brethren on the right bank of the Drin and
enter Yugoslavia, the Ambassadors' Conference would preserve more of
their dignity in accepting with a good grace that which they are
powerless to hinder.... The minority of the border population will go
raiding in Yugoslavia. If they had been consulted they would have drawn
the frontier very much as it is. With large areas lying at their mercy
they will keep the border villages in constant dread. And that is the
other reason which should induce the Ambassadors' Conference to cancel
their unwise decision.

It is better when the politicians do not come with advice to the
battlefield; and in those primitive regions, where part of the people
cannot, as yet, be restrained from perpetual warfare, it would have been
better if the politicians had done nothing but confirm the General's
frontier. Franchet d'Espérey gave it to the Serbs "for the time being,"
and that period should last until there is no longer any military need
to hold it. "No General, however distinguished, could possibly have any
authority whatever to give to any nation the territories of another,
such as can only be transferred and delineated by treaties and
international recognition." So says Mr. H. E. Goad, or Captain Goad as
he has the right to call himself. But it is a pity that he does not
appreciate the difference between that which is temporary and that which
is not.

Italy has been given against the Yugoslavs a purely strategic frontier,
which places under her dominion over 500,000 unwilling Slovenes, whose
culture is admittedly on a higher level than that of their Italian
neighbours. And yet the Ambassadors' Conference (in which Italy plays a
prominent part) has refused to give Yugoslavia a strategic frontier
against a much more turbulent neighbour, which frontier, moreover, would
include of alien subjects only a small fraction of the number which
Italy has obtained. The Albanian frontier now imposed on Yugoslavia is
very much like that which the treaties of 1815 gave to France, when the
passage (_trouée_) of Couvin, often called erroneously the trouée of the
Oise, at a short distance from Paris, was purposely opened. "Formerly,"
says Professor Jean Brunhes,[107] "the sources of the Oise belonged to
France, protected, far back, by the two enclaves of Philippeville and
Marienbourg, both fortified by Vauban." And M. Gabriel Hanotaux[108]
remarks that this opening of the trouée of Couvin was the reason why in
1914 France lost the battle of Charleroi.

The Ambassadors' Conference has committed a grave injustice. "Let us
hope," says M. Justin Godart,[109] a French ex-Under Secretary of
Hygiene, concerning whose very misguided mission to Albania we have
written elsewhere,[110] "let us hope," says he--in my opinion one of the
unjustest men towards Yugoslavia and Greece--"let us hope that
Yugoslavia will understand that it is unworthy of her to contest the
decision of the Ambassadors' Conference." It has given to the Yugoslavs
a frontier that necessitates the presence of a considerable army, and
this is precisely what suits the Italians. Seeing that in Italy there
are men alive who can recall their struggles against the Austrian
oppressor, it is sad that their own country should now be playing this
very same rôle. The Ambassadors appear to have taken no notice of
Italy's support of the Tirana Government, but to have been very drastic
with respect to Yugoslavia's support of the Mirditi. They have punished
the Yugoslavs by binding their hands in a district part of whose
population long for the help of those hands in gaining some
tranquillity, whereas the other part consists of persons against whom
one must defend oneself.

The politicians have acted as if all the border folk were as peaceful as
they doubtless are themselves. In consequence, there will be panic and
assassination till the politicians--unable to oppose the wishes of the
majority of those who dwell in the frontier zone--proclaim that until
further notice General Franchet d'Espérey's wise and prudent
dispositions shall be honoured.

       *       *       *       *       *

That is the only method by which an Albania can be brought slowly into
existence. At this moment the cartographers are printing the map of the
Albanians' country in accordance with the Ambassadors' decision. They
might spare themselves the trouble. The decision to recognize an
Albania was as premature a project as, in Mr. Wells' opinion, is the
League of Nations. A free, united Albania has been recognized, and in a
little time the Ambassadors' Conference, perceiving that such a thing
does not exist, will be relieved to see the North and the South taking
the steps to which we have referred. It is wonderful that the
Ambassadors' Conference and the League of Nations should imagine that a
country, most of which is in the social state of the Gallic clans in the
days of Vercingetorix, can suddenly become a modern nation by the simple
contrivance of a parliament, which, as a matter of fact, has been the
caricature of one. In the words of Lord Halsbury, when reversing a
judgment of the Court of Appeal, I am bewildered by the absurdity of
such a suggestion. Albania is in need of organizers, not of orators. A
very competent French traveller,[111] one who believes that a future is
reserved for this unquenchable people, warns the world against undue
haste. After describing the deplorable state or the non-existence of
Albanian schools, roads, ports, the monetary system and the organization
of credit, he says that it is scarcely an exaggeration to assert that
from the point of view of economic arrangement everything has to be
created. This necessitates a Government which knows how to administer
and which has funds at its command. But there is not the least
likelihood of regular taxes being paid to a central Government until you
have security of communication. And even then the native--except if
force is used--will not pay before he sees the benefit which taxes
produce. He who for the most part has never given obedience save to his
village chief will require to see the local benefit. Therefore his whole
outlook must be changed; slowly from being parochial it must become
national.... There can be no greater folly than at this stage to aim at
applying modern usages, equality of taxation, uniformity of judicial
organization, and so forth. It must be a very slow advance, says M.
Jaray, taking local traditions and the feudalism, both domestic and
collective, into account. Even if a central Government had all the
necessary qualifications, yet that would not cause the people to regard
it with gratitude and loyalty. It is too remote. The clans have been
accustomed to look no farther than their own chiefs. Only in serious
circumstances and against an invasion have they united and chosen a
common leader. To expect the Albanians rapidly to throw aside their
clannishness is to prepare for oneself a disappointment. It is in the
clan that they must be made fit for something more extensive. Let the
country be recognized not as a nation, but as a collection of clans, and
let these clans, with any outside assistance they themselves may choose,
come gradually to understand the word "Albania." ... And what are the
chances that this will come to pass? No country is more feudal; yet only
the most thoroughgoing peasant reforms will lay a sure foundation for
the State.


The frontier with Greece has undergone no alteration as a result of the
War. It is inconvenient in certain details; it runs, for example, at
such a very short distance to the south of the town of Ghevgeli that the
prefect has little chance of frustrating those who actively object to
the payment of import duties. Rather a large number of Slavs, some say
300,000, live on the Greek side of the frontier, while a far smaller
number of Greeks live in Monastir. Both the Slavs and the Greeks have
made sundry complaints, which are more or less justified, against the
alien authority which governs them. However, during 1919 and 1920, the
two Governments resolved, in the furtherance of their good
understanding, to raise none of these questions, neither the claims of
the derelict Slavs, who are mostly Exarchists, nor of the Monastir
Greeks, who are mostly hellenized Vlachs. The two countries, while
Venizelos was in power, were acting on the principles of the Serbo-Greek
friendship that used to be advocated by _L'Hellénisme_, the newspaper
which Sir Anastasius Adossides, under Venizelos the enlightened
Governor-General of Salonica, published for several years before the
first Balkan War in Paris. Yugoslavia was to have every facility given
her in Salonica, which course would naturally be the most beneficial to
that place. And among the minor advantages of really amicable relations
would be the impossibility of such a state of things as once prevailed
at Doiran, where the masters of the Greek and Bulgarian schools were
neither of them in a position to chastise their peccant pupils, who
could always have the last word by threatening to transfer themselves to
the rival establishment. It was, I believe, the custom of these young
scoundrels to remain at one or other of the two schools on the
understanding that the teacher gave them a retaining fee of so many
chocolates.... One rather felt, during 1919 and 1920, that the
Yugoslavs, in their willingness to take the hand of Greece, which had so
shamefully refused to act upon its obligations in the first half of the
War, were behaving as if Venizelos would henceforward be retained in
power by his countrymen. Should the Serbs find themselves hampered in
their use of the "Free Zone" at Salonica, a moment might arrive when
they and the Bulgars would, to their mutual advantage, make an
arrangement with regard to Salonica and her hinterland.


There have been various modifications in the frontier line between
Serbia and Bulgaria. The Bulgars acknowledge that in the case of the
Struma salient, of the part near Vranja and of the villages on the bank
of the Timok, it was clearly for the purpose of safeguarding the
railways; and few people would be found to say that Serbia has been
other than modest in her demands. Compare the Italian position on the
Brenner with the Yugoslav frontier against Bulgaria and in the Baranja:
against Bulgars and Magyars the Yugoslavs only secure a sound defensive
frontier, whereas Italy obtains a capacity for the offensive against
Austria.[112] It is rather different with regard to Tsaribrod, on the
main line between Niš and Sofia. So good a friend of the Yugoslavs as
Dr. Seton-Watson has deplored the cession of this small place, since it
appears likely to imperil a future friendship between Serbia and
Bulgaria. As a matter of fact the Yugoslav Peace Delegates requested,
for strategic purposes, a still more southerly frontier on the Dragoman
Pass, which was denied to them. But Tsaribrod, which is dominated by the
heights of Dragoman, is anyhow a place of minor importance. It is much
to be hoped that the inhabitants will not imitate those of the Pirot
_intelligentsia_ who in 1878 shook off the dust of their town when it
became Serbian and migrated to Sofia, where they never wearied of
anti-Serbian agitation. One must do one's best not to retard the arrival
of that day when it will be almost a matter of indifference as to
whether a village is situated in Serbia or in Bulgaria. Mr.
Stanojević, the deputy for Zaječa, which is not far from the
frontier, proposed in the Skupština that Tsaribrod should be left to
the Bulgars in exchange for a sum of money. This suggestion was opposed
by the Radicals, and the far-seeing Yugoslav statesmen who would gladly
have adopted it were left hoping that the Skupština would some day
decide in its favour.... This moderation on the part of the Serbs has
been less in evidence at Bucharest and still less at Athens. The Peace
Conference which felt itself unable to deprive its Ally of southern
Dobrudja, and unable to resist the persuasive eloquence of M. Venizelos,
does not seem to have contributed towards a lasting Balkan peace. A
reviewer in the _Observer_, while approving of Mr. Leland Buxton's hope
of a Serb-Bulgar reconciliation, asks why this should be effected to the
exclusion and obvious detriment of Greece. "Why not a Balkan
Federation?" he asks. In view of the very different races which inhabit
the Balkans, he might just as well ask, "Why not a European Federation?"
And the statesmen of the non-Slav Balkan countries do not seem to have
made serious efforts to prevent the coming of a purely Slav Federation.
It remains to be seen whether, when that comes to pass, the Greek and
Roumanian people will have achieved such statesmanship as to make an
equally small effort to keep under their control their large Slav
territories.... "We should no longer think of Thrace," said M. Venizelos
in the Greek Chamber in 1913, "for it is impossible to include in the
Greek State all those parts where Greeks have lived; we ought to be
modest and contented with what is most righteous and attainable; we
ought not to let ourselves be carried away by our imagination."



A new frontier between Yugoslavia and Roumania has been drawn by the
Allied Powers in the Banat. But before we consider its merits and
absurdities we must examine the Serbo-Roumanian question in the several
departments of eastern Serbia. During 1919 one heard a good deal, in
Bucharest and in Paris, of the pitiful Roumanians whom the Serbs had
always deprived of their own national schools and churches. It was
claimed, chiefly by a certain Dr. Athanasius Popovitch, that the
Roumanians in Serbia were longing for the day of their redemption. On
March 8, 1919, two deputations of Roumanians from the Timok and from
Macedonia, who had lately arrived in Paris in order to plead before the
Conference, presented themselves to the Roumanian colony at 114 Avenue
des Champs-Elysees. We are told that in consequence of their moving
narrative, and on account of the loud appeal made by them to all their
free brothers, the Roumanian colony founded, with great enthusiasm, a
national league for their delivery. The Vice-President of the league was
announced to be Dr. Athanasius Popovici. In a pamphlet called _Les
Roumains de Serbie_ (Paris, 1919), Dr. Draghicesco, a Roumanian Senator,
denounces the Serb authorities for having obliged Dr. Athanasius, while
he was a schoolboy, to change his surname into the purely Serbian one of
Popovitch. "Not being able to endure this régime of violence," we are
informed, "he expatriated himself and established himself in Roumania."
But if Dr. Athanasius felt so strongly with regard to his name when he
was a mere schoolboy, one is puzzled to understand why, being an adult
and a pamphleteer in 1919, he should be hesitating between Popovitch,
which is Serbian, and Popovici, which is Roumanian. The Senator does not
seem to be well informed as to the early years of Dr. Athanasius, who so
far from expatriating himself as an indignant schoolboy, remained in
Serbia, where he went through five classes of the gymnasium in Belgrade,
after which he studied theology in the same town, with a view to
succeeding his father, who was a priest at Dušanovac in eastern
Serbia. Later on Athanasius performed his military service at Zaječa,
where he married--so one of his sisters told me--one Mileva, the
daughter of Yovan Stančević, a merchant. After his marriage he
went to Jena, in order to continue his studies, and there he became a
Doctor of Letters. It may be that while he was at Jena he became
conscious of the régime of violence to which the Roumanians in Serbia
are subjected; at any rate he decided not to return to that country,
where his wife and three sisters are well satisfied to live. He launched
himself into a furious anti-Serbian propaganda in favour of those who,
in the words of Dr. Draghicesco, are profoundly sad and full of grief at
being neither Serbian nor Roumanian, who when they meet a Roumanian
brother listen to him with pleasure and, with their eyes full of tears,
murmur: "How happy we should be to be with you." ... When I travelled
through those parts with a view to verifying Dr. Athanasius's
assertions, I was invariably told by persons of Roumanian origin that
they had no complaint whatever against the Serbs, and that the last
thing they desired was to be politically united to the Roumanians of the
kingdom. Dr. Athanasius might reply that his wretched compatriots were
impelled by fear to give such answers. But what do they fear?--one finds
that among these people are deputies, priests, army officers and so
forth. "To-day," says Dr. Athanasius, "all the peoples who are reduced
to slavery by other people secure the right to return to their
fatherland." The Roumanians of Serbia would have to be a good deal more
miserable before wishing to have anything to do with Roumania. Milan
Soldatović, ex-mayor of the great mining village of Bor and himself
of Roumanian origin, said that he had never heard of any one who went to
work in Roumania. No doubt the present generation of Roumanian
landowners deeply deplore the misdeeds of their ancestors, who drove the
ancestors of these peasants away from Roumania. "The peasant hovels were
merely dark burrows, called _bordei_, holes dug in the ground and
roofed with poles covered with earth, rising scarcely above the level of
the plain.... The interior was indescribable. Neither furniture nor
utensils, with the exception of the boards which served as beds or seats
and the pot for cooking the _mamaliga_"[113]--his sole food, a paste
consisting of maize meal cooked in water. And one cannot be astonished
if the Roumanians in Serbia are chary of believing that their native
land has changed for the better. "If," said a Roumanian peasant before
an Agricultural Commission in 1848, "if the boyar could have laid hands
upon the sun, he would have seized it and sold God's light and warmth to
the peasant for money." Even in 1919 the peasant still had much reason
to be dissatisfied, for where the owner parted with his land it was
usually--no doubt as a stage in the transaction--made over to the
village as a whole. And if the boyar no longer has the monopoly of the
sale of alcohol, if he has so far improved that Vallachia is not now
losing its inhabitants as it was after the Regulations of 1831, when we
read that "in vain the rivers are assiduously watched, as if in a state
of siege; the emigrants cross at the places which are clear of troops.
Emigration is especially rife in winter, when the frozen Danube presents
an ever-open bridge," yet among the Roumanians of Serbia it has been
handed down from father to son what happened in the reign of Prince
Miloš. To take one case out of many such that are preserved in the
National Archives at Belgrade, a dispatch was sent on February 11, 1831,
by Vule Gligoriević, his representative in those parts, to Prince
Miloš, who was at Kragujevac, enclosing a supplication from the
priests and other inhabitants of the large Roumanian island called
Veliko Ostrvo, in the middle of the Danube, praying that they might be
allowed to cross to Serbia. "We are in great misery," they wrote, "and
have boyars who are very bad, and we cannot bear the misery in which we
find ourselves, and in the greatest grief we beg your Highness to let us
come to Serbia with our wives and children." The Prince had a special
sympathy for Roumania and was therefore most reluctant to intervene in
her internal affairs. He adopted a very cautious attitude in this
matter, but when Gligoriević sent him petition after petition he was
finally so touched by the recital of their woes that he permitted them
to cross the river; and one night, with the help of the Serbian
authorities, the whole island crossed over, to wit 57 families, with 186
oxen, 70 horses, 694 sheep and 87 pigs. Miloš made them a free grant
of land for the building of a village, together with a vast stretch of
territory for pasture and stock-raising; at his own expense he built
them a church and extended to them all the liberties and advantages
enjoyed in Serbia by the Serbs themselves. As a token of their gratitude
these Roumanian emigrants called their village Mihailovac, after the
name of Michael, the Prince's son. This village is the birthplace of our
friend Dr. Athanasius, whose sentiments appear to have placed him in a
minority of one. When his pamphlet came into the hands of Jorge
Kornić, the mayor of Mihailovac and a Roumanian by origin, he brought
it to the prefect at Negotin saying that he wished to have nothing to do
"with any devil's work."

As Dr. Athanasius and his chauvinist friends give a pretty lurid picture
of the Roumanian villager who lives in Serbia, I visited a few places
where the population is wholly Roumanian or Serbo-Roumanian. The 766
inhabitants of Ostralje are all of Roumanian descent, the mayor being
one Velimir Mišković, a sergeant of reserves who has been
transferred from the army in order to carry on his municipal duties. All
the inhabitants speak Serbian and Vlach. "We were always Serbs," they
said. "Nobody told us that we had migrated to this place." And amongst
those who assembled to talk with us at the schoolmaster's house there
was only one who, in the Roumanian fashion, had drawn his socks over his
white trousers. The 2221 inhabitants of the village of Grljan are about
two-thirds of Roumanian and one-third of Serbian origin. Formerly they
each had their own part of the village, but now they are intermingled
both in the village and in the cemetery. They intermarry freely; thus
Jon Jonović, the most notable person, who used to represent this
district in the Skupština at Belgrade, has three Serbian
daughters-in-law. He was a member of the Opposition Liberal group of
Ribarac. "And did you ever request that your fellow-countrymen should
have their own Roumanian schools and churches?" we asked. This is one of
the chief demands of Dr. Athanasius. "I was not the only Roumanian who
was a deputy," said the old man of the furrowed face. "There was Novak
Dobromirović of Zlot; there was Jorge Stanković, for instance; but
we never thought of asking for such a thing, since we had no need for
it." The son of the wealthy Sima Yovanović at Bor observed with a
smile that the first business of Roumanian schools would have to be the
teaching of Roumanian. "My father sent me to be educated at Vienna," he
said, "and when I met some boys from Bucharest we found that our
language was so different that we had to talk to one another in German.
And now when a commercial traveller comes here from Roumania I have to
talk German to him, as I would otherwise have to converse with my hands
and feet." The French mining officials, by the way, at Bor testified
that they had never heard of any tension between men of Serbian and
those of Roumanian origin; the Roumanians, who prefer agricultural work,
are more attracted to the mines in winter, when over 40 per cent. of the
1500 employés are Roumanians.

Dr. Athanasius and his friends are agitated, as one would imagine, when
they discuss with you the numbers of their countrymen. In _Le Temps_ of
April 22, 1919, they declared that they could produce 500,000, for they
realized that their previous claim of between 250,000 and 350,000 was
not large enough to give the Roumanians in Serbia the benefit of the
principle of nationality. But even this more modest figure will be
found, on examination, to be exaggerated. In the four north-eastern
counties of Serbia there were 159,510 Roumanians in 1895; 120,628 in
1900, and in 1910 a little over 90,000. This diminution, say the
chauvinists, is due to a falsifying of statistics, for those, they say,
who have attended a Serbian school are inscribed as Serbs. The truth is
that everyone is entered according to his mother-tongue. And history
knows countless instances of a gradual decrease in the case of people
placed in foreign surroundings and exposed to foreign influences. Like
the Illyrians who people Dalmatia, the Thracians of ancient Dacia and
the Serbs who emigrated to Russia in the seventeenth century, the
Roumanians of Serbia are undergoing this process and are inevitably
becoming Serbicized. Frequently we noticed that men possessing no
Serbian blood did not care to admit their Roumanian origin, which,
however, is no secret to their neighbours in spite of the Serbian
termination "ić" that, in the course of years, has been affixed to
their names. An allusion to their origin is clearly regarded as lacking
in delicacy. "Well, my ancestors were Roumanian," is often as much as
they will admit. And when some enterprising agitators came over from
Roumania to the department of Požarevac in 1919, the Roumanians of
those parts gave up to the authorities all those who did not manage to
escape. For ten years Lieut.-Colonel Gjorge Marković commanded the
9th Regiment, which is chiefly formed of Roumanians from that region.
They used to tell him that they wanted to have nothing to do with the
Roumanian boyars. "Here we are boyars ourselves," they said. All of them
speak Serbian, many of them write it; and on winter evenings they have
for years received instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic and
singing, which compares favourably with Roumania's army, in which, as I
was told at Bucharest, the plan of starting any education had to be
postponed in consequence of the outbreak of the Great War. Together with
the unwillingness of these people to acknowledge their origin, one
observes a general vagueness as to the home of their forefathers.
Apparently these came over from southern Hungary, whence the name
Ungureani,[114] or from Tara Rumaneasca, _i.e._ the Roumanian land,
whence the name Tarani. Others again are descended from Roumanized Serbs
who came from Kossovo and other Serb regions of the south, lived in the
Banat and Transylvania among the Roumanian villages, acquired the
Roumanian language and then crossed over to Serbia. These three classes
have all come to Serbia in recent times. Any attempt on the part of Dr.
Athanasius and his friends to drag in the Romans can be answered by the
undoubted fact that the ancient Roman colonists had completely
disappeared from Serbia as far back as the fifteenth century, leaving no
trace at all, and there is no connection between them and the present
Roumanian population of Serbia. No memories remain of the old Roman
colonists, save certain place-names which, as Professor Georgević
remarks, strike one as surprising in the midst of a purely Serbian
population. It is interesting to note that these ancient Roman
place-names are very rare in the regions inhabited to-day by men of
Roumanian origin.

It would not have been worth whole devoting so much space to the
activities of Dr. Athanasius and his adherents but for the fact that
European public opinion, which has concerned itself extremely little
with the Roumanians of Serbia, might possibly imagine that their
advocate deserves to be taken seriously.


Anyone who looks at an ethnological map of the Banat will recognize how
difficult it is to partition that province among two or three claimants.
No matter by whom the map is painted, it must have the appearance of
mosaic, with few solid masses of colour. This fact was quickly used by
the Roumanians, who argued that as the Banat had never been divided,
neither politically nor economically, it should still remain one
whole--of course under the Roumanian flag. The Magyars haughtily pointed
out that as the Banat had never been divided, but had for a thousand
years lived under the crown of St. Stephen, it should still remain one
whole--of course under the Hungarian flag. The Roumanians contended that
the indivisibility of the Banat was designed by Nature, since the
mountainous eastern part could not exist if separated from the fertile
west. The Magyars asserted that it was altogether wrong to think of the
radical remodelling and complete dismemberment of a territory which
Nature had predestined to be one. The Yugoslavs agreed with both parties
that it was not easy to draw a satisfactory frontier, but they asked
that, as far as possible, the predominantly Roumanian parts should be
joined to Roumania, the Slav populations to them and the Magyars to
Hungary. As a matter of fact the Paris Conference did attempt to make an
ethnical division, between these three States, of the Banat. Roumania
tried to demonstrate the impossibility of this by turning off the water
in the Bega Canal when the Serbs evacuated Temešvar and were taking
their heavily-laden barges from that town. There will have to be a
central, international organization to control the network of waterways.
As soon as the Paris Conference had decided on this division it was told
by the Magyars, the Roumanians and the Yugoslavs that all the numerous
Germans of the Banat wished to belong to Hungary, to Roumania and to
Yugoslavia. A great many of the Germans were indifferent, so long as
they could peaceably carry on their prosperous agricultural operations.
Not much political solidarity is apparent among the Germans of the
Banat, and seeing that both Yugoslavia and Roumania, now the principal
possessors of this land, have elsewhere within their boundaries large
German populations, their respective Banat Germans will be able to ally
themselves with these in the Parliaments of Belgrade and Bucharest. The
Banat Germans who are discontented with the Paris decisions are firstly
those, among the aristocratic and commercial classes, who were
accustomed to enjoy under the Magyars a favoured position, and secondly
those who, with more or less justification, say that Roumania has yet to
show that she will treat her subject minorities in a truly liberal
fashion. It is for this reason that the Germans of Veršac and Bela
Crkva--in which towns they are about as numerous as the total of
Yugoslavs, Roumanians and Magyars--would give a majority in favour of
Yugoslavia if they were asked to vote as to Yugoslav or Roumanian
citizenship. _Adeverul_, which is one of the least chauvinist of
Bucharest newspapers, claimed for Roumania at least the railway line:
Temešvar, Veršac, Bela Crkva, Bazias--an argument thought to be
conclusive being that the two central towns are neither Roumanian nor
Serbian but German. This railway line was, as a matter of fact, bestowed
by the Peace Conference on Roumania, and it required some strenuous
work before this decision was modified. The French were suspected in
Yugoslavia of leaning unduly towards the Roumanians, through sympathy
with the Latin strain in their blood; yet it was the French who were for
giving to Yugoslavia not only Bazias but the villages on the Danube down
to Old Moldava, seeing that in those districts the Slavs are certainly
in a majority. The Roumanian case was not assisted by Professor
Candrea's ethnographical map, for in the debated country around Bela
Crkva that gentleman, who told me that he had omitted every place whose
population was less than a hundred, has unfortunately forgotten to
include Zlatica, a village of 1346 inhabitants, which was founded at the
gate of a monastery six hundred and sixty years ago. The population is
according to the Hungarian census of 1910, at which time all the 1346
were Serbs, with the exception of 220 Czechs and a few gipsies.
Professor Candrea has forgotten Sokolavac, a nourishing place about two
hundred and fifty years old with 1800 inhabitants and practically all of
them Serbs, as the Transylvanian Minister of Education admitted. Palanka
with 1400 inhabitants, most Serbs; Fabian with about 1000, mostly
Czechs; Duplaja with 1204, all Serbs but for 10 Slovenes; Crvena Crkva
with 1108 (1048 Serbs, 34 Slovaks, 17 Germans and 9 Magyars), are every
one omitted. Lescovac, with 977 inhabitants, the Professor marks as
Roumanian. When I was at this picturesquely situated place I was
received in the mayor's office by half a dozen burly peasants in the
Serbian national costume who asserted that, with the exception of the
tailor (a Roumanian emigrant) and one or two other persons, the village
was wholly Serb. But Lescovac was then within the Serbian sphere of
occupation, and possibly if I were to go there now I would be told an
appropriate story by other, or the same, peasants in Roumanian attire.
One must try to find some surer indication of nationality, and Professor
Candrea told me that twenty-five years ago he took down a pure Roumanian
text at that place, where the Roumanian language is the most antique in
the Banat. On the other hand, the village must have contained many
Serbs, for when the late notary, a powerful Magyar with Roumanian
sympathies, prevented the school being conducted, as it always had
been, in the Serbian language, and installed a teacher--he stayed for
eight years--who could only speak Magyar and Roumanian, the villagers at
their own expense procured a Serbian school-mistress. She was expelled
by the notary.... This illustrates the difficulties which the Peace
Conference, in its desire to trace an ethnical frontier, was confronted
with. And there was no map which did not make it obvious that Serbian
villages would have to remain to the east and Roumanian villages to the
west of any possible line. They did right, I think, to revise their
decision as to the towns of Veršac and Bela Crkva, for there the
Yugoslavs and their German friends have a large and unquestioned
preponderance. Bazias, with about three miles of the railway, was given
to Roumania so that she should have, for the exportation of her wood and
iron-ore, the only harbour in that region of the Danube which is capable
of development. However, with no railway over Roumanian soil from Bazias
to the mines, this port is perfectly useless, and it is to be hoped that
Roumania will give it up, for compensation elsewhere, to the Yugoslavs.
The latter would otherwise be compelled to build three or four miles of
railway, from Bela Crkva to Palanka, which, unless a great deal of money
be spent on it, will always be one of the worst ports on the river. With
a little more difficulty than to Bazias the Roumanians could construct a
railway to Moldava, which also is a very good port; and in return for
this accommodation, whereby the wines of Bela Crkva could be shipped
from Bazias, their natural port, the Yugoslavs would be ready to make
over to Roumania one or two villages whose population far exceeds that
of little Bazias. We may also hope that facilities will be given by the
two Governments for the emigration of those who wish to cross the new
frontier line. Formerly the people of the Banat had no strenuous
objections to being moved, lock, stock and barrel, from one district to
another and without the inducement of coming under the rule of their own
race. Thus the village of Zsam, to the north of Veršac, was, like
many others, very sparsely inhabited when the Turks withdrew in 1716;
some villages had only three or four occupied houses. So the Government
in 1722 collected into one village the people of several others, and in
this way Zsam, which had hitherto been Slav, became Roumanian, the Serbs
being established in the neighbouring Središte. In 1809 the
Roumanians were transplanted from Zsam to Petrovasela, between Veršac
and Pančevo, where they entered the Pančevo Frontier Regiment;
their place at Zsam was taken by Germans, who, being more industrious,
were preferred by the landowners.

Some of the delineators of this frontier--French and British--have told
me that they were guided throughout by the ethnical principle. But
various unfortunate exceptions seem to have been made: for instance, at
Koča it runs through a certain house in such a way that the lavatory
alone is in Roumania; and in another village there lives a man who,
since his stables are situated in Roumania, would have had his horses
requisitioned if he had not been able to bring them into the other part
of the house. Another village has its cemetery in Roumania, so that the
Yugoslavs carry their dead friends over during the night. Perhaps the
Entente officials, perceiving that their ambitious resolution to divide
the country on ethnic principles was not feasible--there would always be
alien islands to the right and to the left of any line--perhaps they in
despair drew an arbitrary line upon a map and hoped the poor inhabitants
would make the best of it. But this was rendered more difficult by the
Yugoslav and Roumanian authorities, for the people who desire to cross
the line are put to endless trouble. Apart from the expense, it usually
involves a delay of three weeks before permission can be obtained, so
that the frontier is rarely traversed save by smugglers and by those
who, like the afore-mentioned man of Koča, have been driven into
chronic lawlessness.

The first line agreed upon after the War, which temporarily bestowed the
eastern county on Roumania, the western on Yugoslavia and the chief
parts of the central (or Temešvar) county also on Yugoslavia--with
French co-operation--did not find favour in Paris; whether or not this
decision was influenced by the frequent journeys of the Queen of
Roumania and her fascinating daughters to that town I do not know. At
all events another boundary was made which included the large town of
Temešvar and all the northern part of that county in Roumania. It is
true that there are Roumanian villages in the neighbourhood of this
German-Magyar-Jewish town, which is by far the largest place in the
Banat. And the Roumanians, who have already annexed enormous Magyar and
German populations in Transylvania, do not boggle at another 80,000
foreigners. One could, however, find very few Yugoslavs who want
Temešvar to be restored to them; they know that they and the
Roumanians, whatever (as regards themselves) may have been the case in
other days, form, each of them, only about one-thirtieth of the total
population. But they are sorry that the Allies asked them to share in
occupying the town, because the local Serbs, who are interested in
politics, were so enthusiastic, that on the arrival of the Roumanians
they were forced to leave their businesses and go to live in Yugoslavia.
Since neither Serbs nor Roumanians have any ethnical claim to the town
one would suppose that, as the spoil had fallen to Roumania, the Entente
would have endeavoured to give the Yugoslavs some compensation: what
they did was to take away from them a good deal of that which they
had--a considerable slice of their western county--which also was
presented to the Roumanians. Again, the delineators excused themselves
by invoking their ethnical motives, but as a matter of fact in that part
of Torontal the people are predominantly German and they should have
been allotted to Yugoslavia, not merely because the Temešvar Germans
were given to Roumania but on account of their economic existence, which
certainly in the case of the departments of Nagyszentmiklós, Perjámos
and Csene (to retain the Magyar spelling) is bound up with Zsombolya,
their market-town, and Kikinda. According to the census that was taken
in 1919, the population of these three departments now allotted to
Roumania consisted of 41,109 Germans, 13,638 Yugoslavs and 19,270
Roumanians. Further, to the south-east of Torontal, in the departments
of Párdány, Módos and Bánlak, there is not so intimate a connection with
the market-town; here the population consists of 12,209 Germans, 11,102
Yugoslavs and 8808 Roumanians. But there seems to be little reason why
the whole of Torontal, following the wishes of the majority of its
inhabitants, should not be given to Yugoslavia; and this would also
reduce to a minimum the inconveniences produced by any frontier. For
many long years there has been a county frontier between Torontal and
Temešvar, each of which was under an official who looked direct to
Buda-Pest. The adoption of this ancient county frontier as that of the
two countries would put an end to the present absurd and unjust, not to
say dangerous, situation. It should, therefore, be brought about as soon
as possible.

A similar rectification is needed in the country to the north and
north-west. The three German villages of Komloš, Mariafeld and St.
Mikloš have their fields near Velika Kikinda, in Yugoslavia, whereas
they are themselves in Roumania. To bring home his maize from the land a
farmer was obliged to pay, at the most favourable rate, up to 200 crowns
a pound. Considering that this part of the country is an absolute plain
with no river flowing through it, one would suppose that a rectification
could easily be made. If these Germans had been consulted they would
naturally have opted for Yugoslavia. The Peace Conference officials
might, also have studied Velika Kikinda, a place with a very creditable
past, which--as I was told by a Serb professional man of that town--will
be completely ruined if she loses the custom of these German villages
and has to depend upon the Serb peasants who make one embroidered suit
and one pair of sandals last them for ten years.... It will be necessary
for the Yugoslav authorities in the Banat not only to endeavour to raise
their countrymen's standard of living but also in the southerly
districts, where the standard is higher, to persuade them not to persist
in limiting their families. The Serbs in the old kingdom have been one
of the most prolific of European races--they would otherwise have been
incapable of carrying on their twenty-six years of war during this last
century--but in the south and south-east of the Banat, perhaps through
mere love of comfort, perhaps through Magyar oppression, there has been
a marked tendency not to increase. The Magyars and Germans have had
normal families, the Roumanians have increased by assimilation (a woman
marrying into a Serbian family will often cause them all to speak her
easier language). The Serbs, however, will in their part of the Banat
absorb the others if they show political understanding and a liberal
spirit. "We will give the Germans," said Pribičević to one of them
at Veršac--"we will give them everything up to a university."

The north-west corner of the Banat, which has a considerable Magyar
population, has been ascribed to Hungary. Opposite the apex of this
triangular tract of country lies Szeged, the second city of Hungary
(118,328 inhabitants, of whom 113,380 are Magyars) and the chief centre
of the grain trade of the rich southern plains. As was pointed out in
_The New Europe_,[115] Szeged, which lies in flat country, would be even
more defenceless than Belgrade if the lands on the other side of the
river were under alien rule. If one draws a strategical frontier the
nationality of the people is, of course, disregarded; it is, therefore,
beside the point to mention that there seem to be far more Serbs in the
angle opposite Szeged than there were Magyars in the lands opposite
Belgrade. The Entente has simply made up its mind to be generous to
Szeged, and let us hope that we have not left this region to Hungary on
account of the activities of the extremely intelligent Baroness
Gerliczy--a Roumanian lady married to a Magyar--who owns a large estate
there and was much in Paris during the critical period.

The other imperfections in the Paris arrangements, whether with regard
to villages or fields, are not incapable of amendment. One presumes that
the Roumanians, who have no lack of other international problems, will
be wise enough to discard certain dicta of their Liberal party and of
Bratiano, its self-satisfied leader, to whom all subjects seem great if
they have passed through his mind. One particular dictum which the
Roumanians ought to cast aside is that which insists upon the
indivisibility of the Banat. Another Roumanian statesman, Take Jonescu,
was more sagacious when he, during the War, drew up a memorandum whose
object was that Greece, Serbia, Roumania and the Czecho-Slovak
Governments should work in harmony. This idea of presenting a single
diplomatic front was to the liking of Mr. Balfour, who observed to M.
Jonescu that it would be better for these States and better for Europe.
As regards an understanding between Roumania and Serbia in the Banat:
"I," said Pašić--"I speak for Serbia. Can you speak for Roumania?"

And Jonescu unfortunately had to shake his head.

In the fatuous policy of crying for the whole Banat--they even require
the little island in the Danube between Semlin and Belgrade--Bratiano is
assisted by the aged Marghiloman, who is the chief of a branch of the
Conservative party. But the relations between these two do not seem
destined to be cordial, since Bratiano is married to Marghiloman's
divorced wife.

May the Roumanian people become reconciled to Yugoslavia's righteous
possession of part of the Banat. It would be a pity if these two
neighbours were to live together on such terms as, in the eastern county
of the Banat, Caras-Severin, do the Bufani and the other Roumanians. The
Bufani came from Roumania some hundred and fifty or two hundred years
ago, on account of the taxes which they found intolerable; and they have
not been able to arrive at amicable relations with those countrymen of
theirs who are the descendants of earlier emigrants. Very seldom do the
Bufani and the others intermarry. These Bufani, so say the others, are
like ivy. "They called out," complain the others, "they called out:
'Little brother, be good to us!' and then they strangled us." The
Bufani, who are easily recognizable by their dialect, frequent the same
church and have one priest with the others, but they have a separate


North of the town of Subotica the frontier between Yugoslavia and
Hungary is almost a natural one, as it runs over vast hills of shifting
sand which are still partly in motion. Neither on foot nor on horseback,
still less with loaded carts, is it possible to travel through these
hills. But to the east and to the west of them the frontier is no better
than that which separates Yugoslavia from Roumania, and when it came to
the delimitation the Magyars thought it would be preferable if this
work were done with their assistance. Otherwise, so they urged, there
would be no check upon the wicked intolerance of their neighbours. It is
true that they themselves had in the past been in favour of
centralization, but against this one must remember that the "subject
nationalities" were inferior beings. The Yugoslavs, the Roumanians and
the Slovaks could not claim a glorious descent from Attila, of whom a
fresco decorates the House of Parliament at Buda-Pest, and thus the
Magyars had always thought it seemly that, by various devices, a limit
should be put to the number of Yugoslav, Roumanian and Slovak deputies.
Count Apponyi and his colleagues told the Peace Conference very frankly
at the beginning of 1920 that it really ought to take their word for it,
and not persist in looking on the Yugoslavs, etc., as if they were as
good as any Magyar. Surely it was obvious that Yugoslavia, Greater
Roumania and Czecho-Slovakia would be "artificial and improvised
creations, devoid of the traditions of political solidarity and
incapable of producing any." But if the Supreme Council was resolved to
allow certain Magyar territories to join themselves, if they desired, to
these ephemeral States it would be necessary to ascertain by means of a
plebiscite what were the real wishes of the people in these territories;
and Count Apponyi was kind enough to tell the Council very definitely
how this plebiscite should be conducted. The principal Allies were to
arrange, in accordance with the Magyar Government, as to the districts
in which a plebiscite was to be held, and the secret voting was to be
controlled by neutral commissions and delegates of the interested
Governments. This may sound rather rash on the part of the Magyars,
since a plebiscite, no matter how it was arranged and controlled, would
presumably detach a good many jewels from the crown of St. Stephen, and
it was not astonishing that Count Apponyi and his friends proposed that
the Magyars should be safeguarded by further Commissions which, if
requisite, would override the results of the voting. These results would
indeed, as between the Magyars and the Yugoslavs, have given our Allies
a larger dominion than they have actually obtained. The triangle south
of Szeged, to which we have alluded, would certainly, if there had been
a plebiscite, have gone to Yugoslavia. In Baranja the Yugoslavs have
claimed that the census of 1910, which indicated 36,000 Serbo-Croats,
should have given them 70,000; but this does not take account of the
large number of Šokci--Slavs whose ancestors were forcibly converted
to Catholicism and who came to consider themselves as one with the
Catholic Magyars. This widespread phenomenon of race being superseded by
religion may be noticed, for example, at Janjevo in the district of Old
Serbia; it is inhabited by the descendants of Dubrovnik colonists who,
being Catholic, have come to look upon themselves as Albanians. In
Hungary the dominant Magyar minority was wont to clasp the subject races
to its bosom, not with bonds of love but of religion. Thus in 1914 at
Marmoros-Sziget they charged 100 persons with high treason, because it
was their wish to leave the Uniate Church, in communion with Rome, and
return to the Orthodox faith. The same charge would have been preferred
against certain Ruthenians who were just as unwilling to be members of
the Uniate Church; but in the case of these humble, backward people the
conversion had been effected by their priests, who would thereby procure
for themselves a better situation, and the Ruthenians, who had not been
told of this occurrence, were under the impression that they were still
Orthodox. Professor Cvijić believes that, with the help of the
Catholic religion, no less than 113,000 Serbo-Croats have in Baranja
been lost by their Yugoslav brethren.... When the Yugoslavs were asked
by the Supreme Council to evacuate most of Baranja they did so. A
republic, under the presidency of one Dobrović, a well-known cubist
painter, a native of those parts, was formed by Yugoslavs and the
Magyars whose freedom had been safeguarded under their rule. But as this
republic was not assisted by the Yugoslav Government it only lasted for
a week.

Farther to the west is the Prekomurdje, that interesting Slovene
district which extends for about 25 miles along the Mur. The rich plain
that adjoins the river is mostly in the possession of large landowners,
while the hilly country to the north sustains a scattered and poor
population of Calvinists. There are in the whole Prekomurdje some
120,000 Yugoslavs, who are descendants of the old Pannonian Slovenes.
This healthy, honest people has indeed eighteen Catholic and eight
Protestant priests, but is otherwise almost destitute of an
_intelligentsia_. They speak nothing but Slovene, and yet the Magyars
had for ten years previous to the War been so imperialist that only
Magyar schools were tolerated. Thus it happened that the children, like
so many others in the Magyar schools, were at a loss to understand what
they were writing, and if their teacher chanced to learn the Slovene
language he was there and then transferred to Transylvania or the Slovak
country or some other province where he had to teach his pupils in the
Magyar which they did not know. He was supposed to make the children
feel the vast superiority of all things Magyar, so that they should be
ashamed to walk with their own fathers in the streets and speak another
tongue. We are told occasionally in the _Morning Post_ that
consideration should be shown to the Magyars since they are a proud
people, but would they not merit more consideration if they were a
grateful people, grateful that the rest of Europe, overlooking their
Mongolian origin, has accepted them as equals? The Magyars were so
thoroughly persuaded of their own pre-eminence that when the devotees of
Haydn founded in his honour a society at Eisenstadt, where he had
worked, it was allowed on the condition that the statutes and the name
of the society and so forth should be in the Magyar language, although
Haydn was a German. Evidently the poor Slovenes of the Prekomurdje would
be swamped unless they showed exceptional vigour. And when they managed
to survive until after the War the Americans in Paris were for handing
them to Hungary on the ground that the frontier would, if it included
them in Yugoslavia, be an awkward one. Such is also the opinion of Mr.
A. H. E. Taylor in his _The Future of the Southern Slavs_; this author
advocates that Yugoslavia should be bounded by the Mur, albeit in
another part of the same book he says that "a small river is not usually
a good frontier, except on the map"; and the Mur is so narrow that when
Dr. Gaston Reverdy, of the French army, and I arrived at Ljutomir we
found that a crowd of these men and boys had waded across the stream in
order to lay their cause before the doctor, who represented the Entente
in that region. The Bolševik Magyars were just then threatening to
set all Prekomurdje on fire, and the pleasant-looking, rather shy men
who stood in rows before us begged the doctor to procure them
weapons--they would be able to defend themselves. It is satisfactory to
know that most of this portion of the Yugoslav lands has, after all, not
been lost to the mother country.


A considerable part of the frontier between Yugoslavia and Austria has
been determined by a plebiscite which was held, under French, British
and Italian control, in the autumn of 1920. The Slovenes during the
previous year had pointed out that while they could no longer claim so
wide a territory now that Austria had been drawn towards the Adriatic,
yet the rural population of Carinthia had remained Slovene, thanks to
the notable qualities of that people. The German-Austrians, on the other
hand, maintained that country districts are the appanages of a town, so
that the wishes of a rural population are of secondary importance. While
these questions were being debated in 1919 by the two interested
parties--and debated, very often, by their rifles--the Italians
intervened. Sonnino's paper, the _Epoca_, made a great outcry over
Klagenfurt (Celovec) which, if given to the Yugoslavs, would be an
insurmountable barrier, it said, to the trade between Triest and Vienna,
although it was clear that the railway connection through Tarvis
remained in the hands of the Italians. (There is not a single Italian
civilian in Tarvis--but no matter.) Meanwhile the French Press noted
that the Italians--presumably not as traders but as benefactors--were
seeing to it that the Austrians did not run short of arms and munitions.
For many months a large area was in a condition of uncertainty and
turmoil, till at last the Peace Conference ordered a plebiscite.

Two zones in Carinthia--"A" to the south-east, with its centre at
Velikovec (Völkermarkt), and "B" to the north-west, with its centre at
Klagenfurt (Celovec)--were mapped out, and it was agreed that if the
voting in "A," the larger zone, were favourable to Austria, then the
other zone would automatically fall to that country. For several months
before the voting day this area--a region of beautiful and prosperous
valleys watered by the broad Drave and surrounded by magnificent
mountain ranges--for several months this area was the scene of great
activity. German-Austrians and Yugoslavs no longer, as in 1919, attacked
each other with the implements of war, but with pamphlet, broadsheet,
with eloquence and bribery. Austrian and Yugoslav officials took up
their headquarters at various places and saw to it that every voter
should be posted as to the moral and material advantage he would reap by
helping to make the land Austrian or Yugoslav, as the case might be. All
those were entitled to vote who, being twenty years of age in January
1919, had their habitual residence in this area; or, if not born in the
district, had belonged to it or had their habitual residence there from,
at least, January 1, 1912. The larger zone "A" was left under Yugoslav
administration, while zone "B" was under the Austrian authorities; and
the Inter-Allied officials exercised a very close supervision in order,
for example, to protect the partisans of either side from undue
repression at the hands of their opponents. Neither the Austrians nor
the Yugoslavs lost any opportunities for saying in public that the
Inter-Allied Commissions were honestly making every effort to be
impartial. It was, however, unfortunate that Italy should have sent as
her chief representative Prince Livio Borghese, who may have been as
impartial as his colleagues, but whose reputation, whether merited or
otherwise, could scarcely commend itself to the Yugoslavs. They believed
that his activities in Buda-Pest, under the Bolševik régime, and
afterwards in Vienna, had been very hostile to themselves. Each of the
three allied commissioners had a staff of some fifty or sixty officials,
whose upkeep and expenses were paid by the two interested countries.

If an average person had been asked to foretell the result of the
plebiscite I suppose he would have said that in zone "A" the Yugoslavs
and in zone "B" the Austrians would be successful. We have seen how the
Slovene renaissance of the nineteenth century was met by the central
authorities in Vienna (particularly after the German victory of 1871),
and how the local functionaries assisted them. They argued that Austria
with her miscellaneous races could only survive if one of them was
supreme. Therefore they looked askance on every one who regarded himself
as a Slovene; if he rose to be an official it had to be in another part
of the Monarchy, while for the maintenance of Austria (oblivious to the
argument that Austria was a perfectly unnatural affair) they favoured
all those who announced themselves to be on the side of the predominant
race. From 1903 onwards the Slovene language was barred from the courts
of Carinthia, and if a person did not understand the language of the
German magistrates he had to use an interpreter. The land was invaded by
the German _intelligentsia_: professors, masters in primary and
secondary schools, doctors, lawyers and so forth, excise officials and
railway officials--in 1912 Carinthia possessed about 5000 of these and
only 1½ per cent. were Slovenes. Those among the Slovenes who were
capable of serving in such positions were dispatched to Carniola,
Dalmatia or preferably to the German-speaking lands of the Empire. A
provincial agricultural authority was set up in 1910 which was
recognized by the State and which enjoyed a monopoly. Its object was to
aid the progress of agriculture by establishing and supporting
agricultural schools, sending experts to the farmer, distributing
subsidies for the purchase of machinery, artificial manure and so on.
The council consisted of twenty-one members, of whom only one was a
Slovene; the subsidies were given to those who were recognized as
Germanophils, while requests were not permitted in the Slovene tongue.
As for the electoral districts, they were so manipulated that one deputy
represented 120,000 Slovenes and another represented 27,000 Germans.
Constituencies in which there was a German majority were allowed to send
two members, while the others only sent one. The German railway
employees worked so thoroughly for pan-Germanism that various Slovenes
were arrested--among them the mayor of a large village who wanted to
travel from Celovec--for asking in the Slovene language for a ticket.
With regard to schools, there were throughout Carinthia in 1860 some 28
Slovene and 56 Slovene-German foundations, whereas in 1914 there were 2
Slovene, 30 German and 84 mixed schools, where the two languages were
supposed to co-exist; they were indeed the home of two languages, for
the children were nearly all Slovene, whereas the teacher and the
language he used were German. Among 230 masters only 20 could read and
write Slovene. Qualified teachers who could satisfy this test were, as
we have mentioned, sent to other parts of the Empire. So far did the
system go that Slovene peasants upon whom the Government had forced a
German education speedily forgot the two hundred words which they had
learned, but as they had been taught no other script than the German
they were accustomed to write the Slovene language with German Gothic
characters. These peasants were fairly impervious to Germanization;
their strong sense of national consciousness was supported by the books,
religious and otherwise, which they received every year from some such
society as that of St. Hermagoras at Celovec, which distributed half a
million books a year among its 90,000 members.

But that which principally guided the peasant was the voice of his
priest, and the vast majority of priests in zone "A" were Slovenes. This
agricultural zone possesses no more than one or two small towns, where
the priest is less regarded. The traders and artisans frequently look
upon themselves as too highly cultured for the Church; they affect the
"Los von Rom" and the Socialist movements. By holding these menaces over
the Bishop's head a good deal of pressure could be brought to bear, and
this was done by the Germans, who were of opinion that the Church
unfairly encouraged the Slovenes. The Bishop of Celovec had both the
zones in his diocese until some months before the plebiscite, when a
temporary arrangement was made under which zone "A" was administered by
a vicar. But in bygone years the Bishop, with these threats hanging over
him, was wont to counsel prudence and to ask his clergy not to agitate
their flock, whom they were merely telling of their rights. In zone
"B," which mostly consists of the town of Celovec, the Church would
naturally be more susceptible to German influence, apart from the fact
that the Bishop himself is a Bavarian. For personal reasons--he is very
imperfectly acquainted with the Slovene language--he wished even the
clergy of zone "A" to correspond with him in German; but the priests
pointed out that their faithful parishioners wanted to follow this
correspondence and by far the greater number of them have no German....
In fact the Church has in each zone brought its help to the more
powerful party--the Slovene peasants in zone "A" and the German or
Germanophil townsfolk in zone "B"; and it appeared probable before the
plebiscite that in both cases she would be on the victorious side.

In foretelling the result of the plebiscite one would not pay much
attention to the census which the German-Austrian officials used to
take. A person was inscribed according to the language he ordinarily
employed, and this was, more often than not, considered to be German if
his superior was a German. Before the census of 1910 the _Grazer
Tagblatt_, which is the Germans' chief organ in those parts, proclaimed
that the official census was a portion of the national propaganda. All
the propagandist societies were entreated to do their utmost to induce
the people to declare German as their usual language. Very humorous
results were obtained. On December 18, 1910, the provincial council of
public instruction gave out the number of German and Slovene children
respectively in thirty Slovene parishes. Amongst them were the

                                German Children.       Slovene Children.
Borovlje (Ferlach)                31 per cent.            69 per cent.
Grabštajn (Grafenstein)           10·6    "               89·4    "
Žrelc (Ebenthal)                  24·4    "               75·6    "
Pokrče (Poggersdorf)               1·3    "               98·7    "
Bistrica (Feistritz)              16·2    "               82·8    "

And twelve days later the official census gave these results:

                                      Germans.            Slovenes.
Borovlje                            90 per cent.        10 per cent.
Grabštajn                           50·1    "           49·9    "
Žrelc                               49·2    "           50·8    "
Pokrče                              41·1    "           58·9    "
Bistrica                            44·4    "           55·6    "

Far more trustworthy is the almanac issued every year by the Church,
wherein a person's "usual language" is taken to be that in which he
listens to the word of God. These ecclesiastical lists were published by
German bishops, and according to them we find that the region we are
considering held in 1910 some 40,000 Germans and 123,000 Slovenes.

We have seen that Celovec, like the smaller towns in this area, leans
more to the Austrians than to the Yugoslavs. This is partly the effect
of the Austrian Government's policy and partly of the various pan-German
societies (_e.g._ the "Kärntner Bauernbund," the "Verein der
Alldeutschen," the "Deutscher Volksverein," etc. etc.), which, as was
admitted, drew their funds to a considerable extent from Germany

The German Republic was very lavish in assisting her smaller Austrian
sister during the period before the plebiscite, pouring both goods and
cash into the district; and after the opening of the demarcation line
between the two zones at the beginning of August they were able to
introduce their supplies quite openly into zone "A." Very few Germans of
the north believe that the German-Austrian Republic will permanently
remain separated from themselves.... Both Yugoslavs and Austrians
circulated vast quantities of printed matter; for the Yugoslavs the most
convincing argument lay in Austria's apparently hopeless economic
position and the undesirability of belonging to a State which had to pay
so huge a debt; the Austrian pamphlets denounced the Serbs as a military
race, though even such a dealer in false evidence as the eminent
Austrian historian, Dr. Friedjung, would find it difficult to sustain
the thesis that the wars engaged in by the Serbs during the last hundred
years were more of an offensive than of a defensive character. In
several prettily prepared handbooks the voters were implored by the
Austrians not to be so old-fashioned as to plump for a monarchy when
they had such a chance of becoming republicans; one could almost see the
writer of these scornful phrases stop to wipe his over-heated brow after
having pushed back his old Imperial and Royal headgear. You might
imagine that the Austrians in their deplorable economic condition would
have avoided this topic; on the contrary, they proclaimed that several
commodities which were lacking in Yugoslavia could be furnished by them
in abundance. One of these, they said, was salt; and certainly the
Yugoslavs purchased a good deal of it, but that was only when they did
not know that it was German salt, which the Austrians bought in that
country and on which they made an adequate profit. When the Yugoslavs
wanted to get their supplies direct from Germany the Austrians
introduced a transit tax of 1000 crowns--not the nearly worthless
Austrian but Yugoslav crowns--per waggon. Later on when the Danube was
thrown open and this tax could not be levied, salt was considerably
cheaper in Yugoslavia than in Austria. So with plums--in 1919 Austria
bought nearly the whole of the exports from Yugoslavia at six crowns per
kilo and sold them to Germany at eleven to twelve crowns, the profit
going, so the authorities said, to the poor.

As the day of the plebiscite approached, the Yugoslavs seemed to be more
confident than the Austrians. The staunch peasants of zone "A" were not
greatly impressed by the numerous appeals to their heart and brain which
were handed to them by the Austrians in the Slovene language. And they
were not much alarmed at the idea of being joined to their countrymen of
the south, those unmitigated Serbs who thrived, if one was to believe
the Austrian propaganda, on atrocities. But this warning was ridiculed
by the Austrians themselves--on a market day at Velikovec you could see
the Austrophils wearing their colours, which they would scarcely have
done if they had been afraid of possible reprisals--and zone "A" was
generally presumed to have a Yugoslav majority. On such a market day one
saw very few Yugoslav colours in the farmers' button-holes, for it was
the wish of their leaders to avoid anything which might give rise to
unnecessary conflict. The day drew near and the Austrians thought that
they were making insufficient progress; for one thing, they were at a
disadvantage owing to the very low value of their money. They hoped that
Germany would come with more zeal than ever to the rescue, and they
hoped that something fatal would occur to Yugoslavia. So they asked the
Inter-Allied Commissions to put it to their Governments that it would
be advisable if the plebiscite were to be postponed for several months,
say until May 1921. But it was reported that the French and British
representatives declined to countenance the scheme. They may also have
feared that if the period of canvassing were to be so long drawn out,
the same passions would come to the surface as in the plebiscite in east
and west Prussia, where in many places the Poles could not display their
sympathies except at great personal risk. But in that particular
plebiscite it must be noted that the Allies were very imprudent in
confiding the maintenance of order to the rebaptized German Security
Police, a body which was entirely in the hands of the reactionary
clique. Yet the military precautions of zone "A" in Carinthia were not
what they should have been, for when the Yugoslavs had lost the
plebiscite an unrestrained horde of Austrian sympathizers, some of them
from that zone and some from outside it, some of them civilians and some
of them soldiers in mufti who made for certain places where supplies of
weapons had been hidden, swarmed across the land and terrorized the
Yugoslavs in such a fashion that a Yugoslav military force had to come
in to protect them. "But how barbaric are these Yugoslavs," sneered
their enemies, "for they refuse to recognize the result of the
plebiscite." More than one diplomat in Belgrade was ordered to present
himself at the Foreign Office and demand an answer why, etc. But the
Yugoslavs had no intention of imitating d'Annunzio.

Those who were not in the zone at the time of the voting might well be
astounded at the result, which was an Austrian victory by 22,025 votes
against 15,278 for Yugoslavia. In view of the undoubted Yugoslav
majority, it was felt that something more than active propaganda, before
and during the election, had been brought to bear. For example, in the
commune of Grabštajn (Grafenstein) the Germans are said to have
inscribed on the electoral list 180 persons from Celovec and Styria who
had no right to vote; they also asked that seventy strangers should be
inscribed. On submitting these claims to the judgment of the district
council the German leaders, even as the Yugoslavs, were required to
initial each request; it is alleged that these initialled papers, which
were attached to the claims, were left overnight in a room the key of
which was in the keeping of the German secretary, Schwarz. He is charged
with having removed the initialled papers from the Slovene claims and
affixed them to the German claims. There was a large amount of more
usual corruption. Thus it is known that twenty-eight Slovene servants at
an important landowner's were unable to resist the material arguments
and voted for the Germans. And if it is true that a number of people
voted twice and even three times the Inter-Allied Commission fell short
of its duties. It is said that the voting was so lax that if a stranger
had been inscribed and did not turn up to vote, his legitimation was
used by a native. Thus we are told of one Helena Rozenzoph, aged
seventy-five, who was inscribed at Grabštajn. This woman had never
existed; there had been a certain Barbara Rozenzoph who died in 1919,
and her vote was used by Marjeta Hanzio, aged twenty-two years. The case
was so flagrant that the Commission discovered it and the woman
confessed to having acted on a note which she had received from the
special Austrian _gendarmerie_ force, the Heimatsdienst. The Commission
seems to have been reluctant to take any steps against these frauds and
it is not astonishing that the commune of Grabštajn registered 1290
votes for the Austrian Republic and only 380 for Yugoslavia, although in
this commune of 3440 inhabitants there are no more than sixteen German
families. A German majority was thus obtained in a province which Dr.
Renner, the Austrian Chancellor, had acknowledged to be Slovene. It
seems incredible that the Commission should have so completely broken
down and the mystery may yet be cleared up, if as the Yugoslavia
delegate requested, all the voting papers have been preserved.... But
the _Hrvat_, the organ of the Narodny Club in Croatia (the
decentralizing but strongly national party) blames Monsignor Korošec,
the leader of the Slovene clericals, for the disastrous plebiscite
result. He would have been better employed, it says, in organizing his
people than in gadding about Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Dalmatia
for the purpose of extending his party. He had boasted that the Slovenes
were so well organized that they were perfectly confident as to the
issue. It would seem, however, says the _Hrvat_, that an unexpectedly
large proportion of them are partly or entirely Germanized. And this,
more than the above-mentioned irregularities, may be chiefly responsible
for Yugoslavia's loss. One must also remember that many a Slovene would
shrink from garrison duty in Macedonia, while it would be very natural
for the Carinthian farmer to look up at the mountains that separated him
from Carniola and then to recollect that Celovec (Klagenfurt), the
economic centre of the whole area, would be Austrian. Nevertheless if
zone "A" had been smaller--and more completely Slav--it is probable that
the population would have risen superior to the various doubts which
assailed them. What we have said about the Slovenes who have become
Germanized is borne out by the _Koroski Slovenec_, a newspaper which
appears in Vienna and which, though since its formation has been
essentially hostile to the Austrians, tells us that after the plebiscite
the Slovenes have only suffered real oppression from their
denationalized compatriots. Difficulties arose with regard to the
closing of Slovene schools, but this was largely due to the fact that
many of the Slovene schoolmasters fled to Yugoslavia.


A Yugoslav barrister from Pola had gone to a neighbouring village--this
was in 1920--for the purpose of encouraging the natives, who were all
Southern Slavs. He asked them, in the event of their part of Istria
being allotted to the Italians, not to lose heart but to wait for the
day when justice would come by her own. In the middle of his
exhortations a jovial old farmer approached him and slapped him on the
back. "Cheer up, young man!" he exclaimed. "What is it that you are
afraid of?" ... The Slav population of Istria and Gorica-Gradišca,
even as that of Dalmatia, has endured a great many things and is
prepared to endure a great many more. Kindness would have gone a long
way towards disarming them. If the Italians on the eastern Adriatic had
been exponents of the Mazzini spirit rather than--which too often has
been the case--of the direst Nationalist, then the Yugoslavs would have
accepted--mournfully, no doubt, but _faute de mieux_--the frontier from
the river Arša in Istria which President Wilson suggested. This would
have been a compromise frontier, by which 400,000 Slovenes and Croats
would fall to Italy and a very much smaller number of Italians would
fall to Yugoslavia. It would have satisfied the great sensible mass of
the Italian people, but unfortunately was rejected by Baron Sonnino and
his myrmidons. Far more was claimed by him, and the succeeding Italian
Governments have had to struggle with the passions he so recklessly
aroused. They have been unable to persuade the country that with the
Arša frontier they would be getting by no means a bad bargain. By the
Treaty of Rapallo the Italians have obtained much more: the whole of
Gorica-Gradišca, portions of Carniola, the whole of Istria and
contiguity with Rieka (which is made a free town), the islands of
Lussin, Cres and Unie, sovereignty over a strip of five miles which
includes Zadar (and a few adjacent islands), finally the southern island
of Lastovo and Pelagosa which lies in the middle of the Adriatic.

In November 1920 all the outside world was congratulating the Italians
and the Yugoslavs on having, after many fruitless efforts of their
statesmen, come to this agreement. The opinion was expressed that both
of the contracting parties would henceforth be satisfied, since each of
them was conscious that the other had accepted something less than his
desires. It was noted that the Yugoslavs exhibited more generosity, as
they gave up some half a million of their countrymen, while the Italians
yielded in Dalmatia that to which they had no right. The Yugoslavs had,
in the past two years, shown so much more forbearance than was usually
expected of a vigorous young nation that the commentators for the most
part fancied they would not waste any time in grieving over these
inevitable sacrifices. It is freely said that if a liberal spirit is
displayed by the Italians at the various points where they and
Yugoslavia are in contact, both people will settle down, with no
afterthoughts, to friendly and neighbourly relations. But it would be
foolish to close our eyes to the fact that the position at Rieka and
Zadar, not to speak of any other places, bristles with difficulties. At
Rieka one hopes that the largest and wisest party, the Autonomists, will
now come into their rights; no doubt a good many of those opportunist
citizens who, at the time of the Italian occupation, developed into
Italianissimi, after having previously been known as more or less
platonic lovers of Italy, Hungary, or Croatia with ambitions chiefly
centred on their native town, will presently assure you that in the Free
State they are convinced Free Staters; but the local politicians have
been living for so long in such a thoroughly oppressive atmosphere that
most of those who have been prominent should for a season now retire. It
will be difficult enough for this harassed port to settle down to
business. As for the Zadar enclave, it is not easy to understand why an
Italian majority in this little town should bring it under the Italian
flag while the overwhelming Slav majorities of central and eastern
Istria have been ignored. And with all the goodwill in the world the
existence of this minute colony encircled by Yugoslav lands will
scarcely make more easy the conduct of relations between Yugoslavia and
Italy. It is naturally to the interest of both countries that
misunderstandings and suspicions should be swept away. And from this
point of view it is very doubtful whether the Italians were well advised
in taking Zadar into their possession. Presumably the Government was
forced to do so by the state of public feeling. They withstood this
feeling with regard to the magnificent harbour of Vis, which even
President Wilson suggested they should have, and contented themselves
with the smaller Yugoslav island of Lastovo (Lagosta). The pity is that
the Nationalists should have forced into their hands anything which may
turn and sting them.

It may be thought that we are excessively pessimistic in pointing rather
to the dangers which the Treaty places on the tapis than to the good
sense of those who will deal with them. We do not say that the Italians
would have permitted their Government to solve the Adriatic question in
a safer and more philosophic manner; but we cannot look forward with
that confidence we should have had if more sagacious counsels had

An arrangement most agreeable to the bulk of the interested population
would have been effected if two Free States, instead of one, had been
created: the small one of Rieka, and a larger one embracing Triest and
the western part of Istria. There would be in each of these two States a
mixed population, who would think with a shudder of the time when the
grass was growing on their quays. Italians and Slavs, prosperous as of
old, would very cordially agree that the experiment of being included in
Italy had been at any rate a commercial disaster. [D'Annunzio's
administration was, of course, a mere camouflage. Without the support of
the Italian Government, which paid his troops though calling them
rebels, the poet-adventurer could scarcely have lasted for a day; and
the swarm of officers, many of them worse adventurers than himself,
would have deserted him. Nor would the population of Rieka have listened
to his glowing periods if the Italian Government had not, under cover of
the Red Cross, sent an adequate supply of food into the town.] Both
Rieka and Triest were, therefore, living under practically the same
conditions, separated from their natural hinterland, and knowing very
well that as Italian towns their prospects were lamentable. It was
significant that the Italian Government should after a time have studied
the scheme of constructing a canal from Triest to the Save. Before the
War one-third of the urban population (and all the surrounding country)
was Yugoslav; and now, when so many Yugoslavs have departed and so many
Italians have arrived, even now it is certain that in a plebiscite not
10 per cent. would vote for Italy--and this minority would be largely
made up of those _leccapiatini_ (the "plate-lickers") who were the
humbler servants of Austria during the War and are now begging for
Italian plates. When the offices of the Socialist newspaper _Il
Lavoratore_--the Socialists are by far the most important party in
Triest--were taken by storm and gutted, the American Consul, Mr. Joseph
Haven, and the Paris correspondent of the _New York Herald_, Mr. Eyre,
happened to be in the building. They afterwards said that the attack by
those ultra-nationalist bands, the fascisti--very young men,
demobilized junior officers and so forth--was entirely unprovoked. The
carabinieri gazed indifferently at the scene. Such is life in Triest,
where the labour movement is gaining in strength every day. Its old
prosperity has departed--there is hardly any trade or water or gas,
since most of the coal was consumed, by order of the Italian
authorities, in making electric light for illuminations. These were
intended to show the city's irrepressible enthusiasm at being
incorporated in the kingdom of Italy. But the inhabitants know very well
that being one of Italy's many ports is worse than being the only port
of Austria; they know that the most direct railways to Austria pass
through Yugoslav territory, that henceforward the Danube will be much
more largely used by Austria, Czecho-Slovakia and Hungary (none of whom
had a seaboard) and that Rieka will now be a more formidable rival than
of old.... So, too, at Pola we find that a majority of the population do
not wish their town to be retained in Italy; a number of Italian workmen
fled from the idle shipbuilding yards and actually came in 1919 and 1920
with the Slovene refugees, their fellow-townsmen, to Ljubljana in search
of employment. There are not sufficient orders to go round among such
yards in Italy where, owing to the absence of coal and iron, this
particular industry labours under great disadvantages. But if Rome
considers that the retention of Pola is strategically essential, then in
order to meet her wishes this town might be taken out of the
Triest-Istrian Free State--maybe the Italians will be able to do
something that will cause the citizens to cease regretting those good
days of old when, as Austria's chief naval base, she flourished on the
largesse of officers and men. But what can she do, and what could
anybody do? Hundreds of houses are deserted; and for the year 1920 the
owners of the theatre--which did not engage expensive actors but relied
mainly on cinema--were faced with a deficit of 12,000 lire.

The Triest-Istrian Free State would approximately contain, without Pola,
some 300,000 inhabitants, half Italian and half Yugoslav. The formation
of this State would be less advantageous to the Yugoslavs, for most of
the big landowners and the shop-keepers are Italians who live on the
Yugoslav peasants; but Yugoslavia, for the sake of peace, would be glad
to see the State come into existence. Eastern and central Istria,
forming a part of Yugoslavia and lying between the two Free States,
should extend to Porto di Bado, which would cause it to possess about
3,000 Italians and 280,000 Yugoslavs. If it were to be bounded by the
Arša it would make the Italians in the Triest-Istrian State become a

With respect to the indisputable Slav districts east of the Isonzo,
_i.e._ the territory of Gorica-Gradišca and an appreciable part of
Carniola, which have been adjudged to Italy and which long to be joined
to the Yugoslav State, there are two possible solutions. (In passing we
may observe that there is no country where the national frontier is more
clearly indicated. The linguistic frontier is so strictly defined that
the peasant on one side of it does not speak Italian and his neighbour
on the other side does not understand the Slovene tongue. Nevertheless,
Signor Colajanni, the venerable leader of the Italian Republicans, took
up an undemocratic point of view and declined to admit the argument of
the superiority of numbers, when he alluded to this frontier in a speech
to the Republican Congress at Naples. Waving numbers aside, he preferred
to appeal to history and culture, though he should have known that the
mass of the Slovene people is much better educated than the Italian
peasant.) The true ethnographical boundary would be the Isonzo--not many
Yugoslavs live to the west and not many Italians to the east of that
river. Only in the town of Gorica do we find Italians. In 1910 at the
census the Italian municipal authorities attempted to show that their
town was almost entirely Italian; at a subsequent census the Austrians
found that the returns had been largely falsified, and that in reality
Gorica contained 14,000 Italians and 12,000 Slovenes, while it is common
knowledge that if you go 500 yards from the town you meet nothing but
Slovenes. The prosperity of Gorica was mostly based on the export of
fruit and vegetables from the Slovene countryside. In 1898 the Slovenes
awakened, formed societies, started in business on a large scale and
boycotted the Italian merchants, who found themselves obliged to learn
the Slovene language. Suppose that, for the sake of meeting the wishes
of the Italian Nationalists, one half of the town were given to Italy,
then that portion would be faced with ruin. It would, therefore, be
advisable that the whole town should remain with its hinterland, and
that Italy and Yugoslavia should be divided from each other by the
Isonzo. But if this solution is impossible, then a large district east
of the Isonzo should be entirely and permanently neutralized, which
would not endanger the security of either State. Very different in
character is the line Triglav-Idria-Sneznik, which the Italians hold
ostensibly as a means of defence, but which is an offensive line against
Yugoslavia, and primarily against Ljubljana and Karlovac.

No doubt as the Italians in the eastern Adriatic have obtained a regular
position by the Treaty of Rapallo they will henceforth do their best to
win the love of their new subjects. They will disavow such officers as
that one on the sandy isle of Unie who accused the Slav priest of
propaganda, and in fact, as we have mentioned elsewhere, expelled him
for the reason that inside his church, where they had been for many
years, stood monuments of the two Slav apostles, SS. Cyril and Methodus.
St. Methodus was the wise administrator of these two--but even if he
takes the rulers of the eastern Adriatic under his particular protection
one must be prepared for them to fail in smothering, by their
enlightened rule, the discontent which in the last three years has grown
among the Yugoslavs to such acute proportions. It began, as we have
noted, under the ægis of Baron Sonnino; the old neighbour,
Austria-Hungary, had been Italy's hereditary foe, and the Baron's school
could not bring itself to regard the new neighbours in a friendly light,
although their house was so much less populated than that of their
predecessors, not to mention that of the Italians themselves.

There have been times during the last three years when a war between
Italy and Yugoslavia seemed scarcely avoidable--the natives of the
districts most concerned were looking forward to it with eagerness. At a
Yugoslav assembly held in Triest in the summer of 1919 the other
delegates were electrified by two priests from Istria who declared that
their people were straining at the leash, anxious for the word to snatch
up their weapons. (Many of these weapons, by the way, were of Italian
origin, as there had been no great difficulty in purchasing them from
the more pacific or the more Socialistic Italian soldiers; the usual
price was ten lire for a rifle and a hundred rounds.) If there should
come about a war between Italy and Yugoslavia, then it is to be supposed
that the Yugoslavs will afterwards take as their western frontier the
old frontier of Austria (except for the Friuli district, south of
Cormons, which they do not covet, since they look upon this ancient race
as Italian.)

By signing the Treaty of Rapallo the Yugoslav Government has shown that
it is ready to go to very great lengths in order to establish, as
securely as may be, an era of peace. It would be just as creditable on
the part of the Italians if they will consent to Istria being
partitioned in the way we have suggested, for they have been wrongly
taught to think themselves entitled to this country, and to believe that
the inhabitants, as a whole, are glad to be Italian subjects. "You may
suppose we are unpatriotic," the Austrian railway officials of Italian
nationality used to say, "but as Austria gives much better pay than we
should receive from Italy, we prefer that this part of the world should
be Austrian."

The relations between Italy and Yugoslavia have been treated at some
length, for it would require but little to bring a gathering of
storm-clouds to the sky. One even hears of Roman Catholics in Istria and
elsewhere abjuring their Church and--for the national cause--adopting
the Serbian Orthodox faith. Twenty years ago it happened that two
Istrian villages, Ricmanje and Log, went over to the Uniate and thence
to the Orthodox Church. This was on account of a quarrel with the Bishop
of Triest, who wanted, against the wishes of the people, to remove their
priest, Dr. Pojar. But now we have priests in the provinces given to
Italy who are openly calling on their flock to go over with them to
their Orthodox brothers; and this is a movement which, it is thought,
will merely be postponed by the introduction of the Slav liturgy. To
take a single sermon out of many, we may mention one which in the summer
of 1920 was preached in a church of the Vipava valley. The clergyman,
after lamenting that the chief dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church
are Italians, gave it as his opinion that there was nothing to choose in
point of goodness between that particular Church and the Orthodox
Church. "And," said an old peasant who came to Triest with the story of
what had happened, "never in my life did I hear so fine a sermon and one
that did me so much good."


    [Footnote 72: The Italians had originally landed a "hygienic
    mission" at Valona early in the European War, and this of
    course developed into something else. That ingenuous
    propagandist, Mr. H. E. Goad, tells us (in the _Fortnightly
    Review_ of May 1922) that while Nature had made the innumerable
    deep-water harbours on the eastern coast of the Adriatic
    practically immune from Italy's attack, a landing or raid from
    one of them at Ancona, Bari or Barletta would be a vital blow
    at Italy, severing vital communications. He therefore justifies
    Italy's landing at Valona in that it was a purely defensive
    step, made to ensure that its harbour should not be used
    against her. He may hold that the seizure of one town is better
    than the seizure of none, but from the strategic and political
    point of view it would seem that Mr. Goad is an injudicious

    [Footnote 73: _Albaniens Zukunft._ Munich, 1916.]

    [Footnote 74: _La Sera_, August 6, 1920.]

    [Footnote 75: _Giornale delle Puglie_, September 6-7, 1920.]

    [Footnote 76: The delegates of the League of Nations were told,
    at the beginning of 1922, by the authorities in southern
    Albania that it was iniquitous to believe that they would
    employ this kind of punishment for political refugees. Did they
    not advertise an amnesty to all those who returned within
    forty-five days? And in what newspaper, they indignantly
    asked--in what newspaper had they published the slightest
    threat of arson?]

    [Footnote 77: In the winter of 1921 this gentleman was expelled
    from his country.]

    [Footnote 78: _Albanesische Studien._ Jena, 1854.]

    [Footnote 79: _Albanien und die Albanesen._]

    [Footnote 80: But this is less rigorously upheld in the towns
    if it is a question of their honour or of cash. When, to give
    an example, Scutari was occupied by the Montenegrins at the
    beginning of the Great War, a Catholic Albanian merchant came
    to a Montenegrin lawyer and asked him to institute proceedings
    against another merchant who had gravely and publicly insulted
    him. The lawyer drew up the complaint, for which he charged the
    small sum of 20 perpers (= francs), but although his client was
    a wealthy man this fee appalled him; he resolved to take no
    further steps. In general, the Scutarenes prefer to suffer
    imprisonment rather than part with any money. And the
    willingness of the Albanians not to look a gift-horse in the
    mouth could often be observed at Podgorica between the years
    1909 and 1912, when Nicholas of Montenegro would occasionally
    appear in the market-place with a supply of caps and other
    articles for the Albanians. These he would distribute, having
    first exclaimed: "Kačak Karadak Kralj Nikola barabar!" (that
    is to say, "The Albanian and the Montenegrin are equal in the
    eyes of King Nicholas!"). Kačak is a word meaning a brigand,
    an outlaw; the Montenegrins apply it to their neighbours, and
    these latter, throwing their new caps in the air and cheering
    for Nikita, did not mind what he called them.]

    [Footnote 81: _Turkey in Europe._ London, 1900.]

    [Footnote 82: _Ein Vorstoss in die Nordalbanischen Alpen._
    Vienna, 1905.]

    [Footnote 83: _Italy in the Balkans at this Hour._ Naples,

    [Footnote 84: _L'Albanie Independente_, by Dukagjin-Zadeh Basri
    Bey. Paris, 1920.]

    [Footnote 85: Cf. the _New Statesman_, February 5, 1921.]

    [Footnote 86: When the Serbian troops arrived at Priština in
    the Balkan War they discovered among the inhabitants of that
    place a man who had not left his house for some fourteen years.
    We are told (in _The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland,
    Ireland_, etc., vol. v. London, 1921) of my Lord Eyre of
    Eyrescourt in County Galway "that not one of the windows of his
    castle was made to open, but luckily he had no liking for fresh
    air." Yet probably his lordship's countenance had not the
    pallor of the man of Priština, because "from an early dinner
    to the hour of rest he never left his chair, nor did the claret
    ever quit the table."]

    [Footnote 87: When this account of the incident was published
    in my small book, _A Difficult Frontier_, it caused a reviewer,
    one I. M., in _The Near East_ to observe, that I "can be
    jubilant when a Montenegrin in Yugoslav pay insults a British
    officer, Captain Brodie." Since the Editor permits such
    hopeless nonsense to appear in his columns one may be excused,
    I think, for not taking _The Near East_ very seriously. It is
    not worth while informing them how General Phillips of Scutari
    dealt with Captain Brodie.]

    [Footnote 88: Referring in the _Nation and Athenæum_ to Sir
    Charles's latest work, _Hinduism and Buddhism_ (3 vols.), Mr.
    Edwyn Bevan says that "for a lonely student, who had done
    nothing in his life but study, the book would have been a
    sufficiently remarkable achievement. That a man who has been an
    active public servant and held high and responsible offices
    should have found time for the studies which this book
    presupposes is marvellous. It is a masterly survey.... There
    can be few men who have Sir Charles's gift of linguistic
    accomplishments, who can not only read Sanskrit and Pali, but
    know enough of the Dravidian languages of Southern India to
    check statements by reference to the original writings, and add
    to this a knowledge of Chinese and Tibetan."]

    [Footnote 89: Cf. pp. 72-73, Vol. I.]

    [Footnote 90: Cf. _Manchester Guardian_, February 28, 1919.]

    [Footnote 91: Cf. _A Political Escapade: The Story of Fiume and
    D'Annunzio_, by J. N. Macdonald, O.S.B. London, 1921.]

    [Footnote 92: Cf. _Tribune de Genève_, October 13, 1921.]

    [Footnote 93: Those who are curious as to the gentleman's
    antecedents may like to refer to my book, _Under the
    Acroceraunian Mountains_.]

    [Footnote 94: Cf. _La Suisse_ (of Geneva), October 13, 1921.]

    [Footnote 95: Cf. _Journal des Débats_, October 15, 1921.]

    [Footnote 96: This would be about 18,000 lb. avoirdupois.]

    [Footnote 97: Cf. p. 283, Vol. II.]

    [Footnote 98: Cf. _Morning Post_ of December 14, 1921.]

    [Footnote 99: Cf. _Le Temps_, November 11, 1921.]

    [Footnote 100: "Who is this anonymous idiot?... He really ought
    to have known better than that," says a reviewer in _The Near
    East_. I quite agree. It is pleasant now and then to be able to
    agree with a paper which is so one-sided as to admit pro-Nikita
    and anti-Serbian diatribes by Mr. Devine, but which refuses to
    insert a letter on the other side. "Let us not mix ourselves up
    in their domestic affairs," said the Editor to me after an
    hour's conversation. And though it is a matter of no
    importance, I may mention that he employs a reviewer who,
    referring to the map in my book, _A Difficult Frontier_
    (Yugoslavs and Albanians)--a map which is most conspicuously
    printed opposite the title-page--observes that it "is hidden in
    one unostentatious page, which at first sight escapes the
    reader's attention altogether."]

    [Footnote 101: In the _Samouprava_ of November 12 the whole
    case was discussed with his usual lucidity by Dr. Lazar
    Marković, one of the ablest and most philosophic men in
    Yugoslavia. This ex-Professor of Law is now the Minister of
    Justice, and it is to be hoped that he will eventually succeed
    in the place of Pašić.]

    [Footnote 102: Those who like to hold the Serbs up to contumely
    have not a very strong case when they denounce them for now
    being on friendly terms with the Christian Mirditi, whereas
    they used to be the friends of Essad Pasha; this personage was
    at that time the man whose national Albanian policy had the
    greatest chance of success. He was the one man who then
    appeared capable of establishing a State in which Christians
    and Moslems would be fairly represented. But now too many of
    the Moslem--and not only they--have adopted an Italophil
    attitude which is sadly anti-national.]

    [Footnote 103: A later phase was for the Government to
    recognize that what Albania must have is the friendship of
    Yugoslavia, so that the eyes of the most powerful Ministers
    were turned from Rome to Belgrade. Thereupon the Italians, loth
    to lose their footing in the country, gave their patronage to
    the anti-Governmental parties. It was pleasant to hear in the
    summer of 1922 that when the boundary commissioners had left a
    lamentable neutral zone between the two countries the Albanian
    Government suggested to the very willing Government of
    Yugoslavia that they should co-operate in cleansing that zone
    of its brigand population.]

    [Footnote 104: December 16, 1921.]

    [Footnote 105: According to the Geographical-Statistical Atlas
    recently published by the German Professor Hickmann the average
    loss among the belligerent countries, in killed, wounded and
    through diminution of the birth-rate, was 6·5 per cent. At one
    end of the list of suffering nations is the United States with
    a percentage of 0·4, Great Britain with 3·7, and Belgium with
    4·7. Roumania, Italy, Bulgaria and Turkey are all between 6 and
    6·5 per cent. France has a percentage of 8·5, Russia has 9,
    Germany 9·3 and Austria 11. Above them all comes Serbia with
    the appalling percentage of 23.]

    [Footnote 106: November 24, 1921.]

    [Footnote 107: Cf. "Géographie Humaine de la France" in the
    _Histoire de la Nation Française_. Paris, 1920.]

    [Footnote 108: Cf. _L'histoire illustrée de la guerre de

    [Footnote 109: _L'Albanie en 1921._ Paris, 1922.]

    [Footnote 110: _Under the Acroceraunian Mountains._]

    [Footnote 111: M. Gabriel Louis Jaray. Cf. his _Les Albanais_
    (Paris, 1920) and his other writings on the Albanians.]

    [Footnote 112: Cf. _A History of the Peace Conference of
    Paris_. Edited by H. W. V. Temperley, vols. iv. and v. London,

    [Footnote 113: Elias Regnault, _Histoire politique et sociale
    des Principautés Danubiennes_. Paris, 1885.]

    [Footnote 114: The more advanced Roumanians of the plain also
    apply this term to their countrymen who live among the
    Roumanian mountains or, in Serbia, amid the heights of
    Požarevac and Kraina. It signifies a stupid fellow, one from
    the wilderness.]

    [Footnote 115: February 13, 1919.]





Those who, for some reason or other, do not love the Yugoslavs will have
said to themselves, before taking up this book, that they would
certainly supply that searching criticism of this people which the
author would omit. They knew it was unlikely that a man would write at
such excessive length about the Southern Slavs if he had not a weakness
for them, and if he predicted for their State the virtue of cohesion or
more than very moderate tranquillity, his prejudice would have to be
discounted. "The Yugoslavs," said an Italian lady to me in London, and
her beautiful lips looked as if they could scarcely bring themselves to
pronounce the name, "the Yugoslavs," she said, "are very wild and
black." If I have given the impression in this book that they are white,
my fault will be much greater than the lady's, since I am not quite a
stranger to them. Slovenes, Croats, Serbs and Bulgars--they have good
and evil qualities so different that one must take them separately, and
perhaps it will be more instructive to compare them with each other. The
Slovenes need not detain us; they are a small people occupying a
surprisingly large area; if they were less well organized they would
have been long ago swallowed up. They shine as workers in the field and
mine and forest much more than as military men. They have never been
hereditary soldiers, like so many of the Croats, and it is perhaps this
want of confidence in their own military prowess which has caused them
to take measures that are sometimes too severe against the Austrians who
are under them. The Bosnian Moslems assert that, as all their links with
Turkey are now broken, they are the best Yugoslavs. But the Slovenes are
also the best Yugoslavs, because they recognize that in Yugoslavia is
their sole salvation. Some of us may regret that their tenacity so far
outstrips their idealism. They are a careful people, as may be seen from
Order No. 17024 which was issued, on December 4, 1920, by the Prefecture
of Ljutomir. Referring to sequestered property, it enjoined that the
Austrian owner should be allowed so much that he could live on it, but
not so much as to enable him to be extravagant. They are also a
relatively well-educated people; according to official statistics of
1910, 85·34 per cent. of the Slovene population know how to read and
write, while their neighbours to the east, the Magyars, can only reckon
62 per cent. and the Italians of pre-war Italy, 62·4 per cent. The most
backward part of the Slovene race, those of Istria, have 46·6 per cent.
of illiterates, while there are Italian provinces where the illiterates
amount even to 85 per cent. Rome itself counts 65 per cent.[116]


It will be profitable to compare the Montenegrins with the Serbs,
because in our impatience with those persons who would keep them
separate we may have seemed to imply that we believe them identical. The
Serbs who maintained themselves in those mountains developed certain
characteristics which differentiate them from their brothers. The Serb
of the old kingdom walks, the Serb of the mountain struts. The
magnificent Serbian warrior of the kingdom is so disciplined that
although a Field-Marshal will sit down openly in a café and drink wine
with some old comrade who is in the ranks, yet when the soldier is on
duty his obedience is perfect. But if the Montenegrin private thinks
that his officer has rebuked him unjustly, he will not hesitate to kill
him. The Serb has a great respect for the national heroes, while every
Montenegrin (for the sake of brevity we will use this term instead of
"Serb of Montenegro," and imply, when using the word Serb, a Serb of the
old kingdom)--as we have said, a Serb respects the national heroes,
while every Montenegrin has a knowledge of his own ancestors for at
least a hundred years. He is a chivalrous person who wishes to be
treated as at least your equal. It was the Serbs' disregard of this
sentiment which now and then gave umbrage to those Montenegrins who had
expected that their union with the Serbs would cause an immediate return
of the golden age. This was almost as offensive to the Montenegrins as
the request that they would now contribute towards the support of the
army. They had always left this to the Tzar--"We and the Russians," they
used to say, "are 150 millions." Not all the Montenegrins have managed
to emancipate themselves from the thraldom of the clan. An amusing
example of this was a major at Peć who belonged to the great
Vasojević family. He gave two of us a large lorry, which was the only
car he had, and advised us to start very early and to take no one with
us, except a guard, as the road to Mitrovica was in a soft condition. We
started off with about twenty passengers, but only one of them, a Turk,
had any luggage to speak of; and after we had gone a good part of the
way we were held up at a military post. A Montenegrin captain, also a
member of the Vasojević, had overslept himself and ordered us by
telephone to return for him. The Serbian lieutenant--who had risen from
the ranks--asked at once if that order would come in writing, and when
he received a negative answer he cut off the communication and wished us
a happy journey. The Montenegrins also differ from the Serbs in their
cultivation of the arts. They have no liking for songs of love, but say
that men should only listen to the guslar and to hero-songs. They are
severer and more dignified than the Serbs, and it will be some time
before the average Montenegrin throws back his head in a railway
carriage and rolls out a joyous song, as I once heard a Serb do in the
Banat, whereupon another Serb in the far corner--they obviously had
never met--joined in the song with great heartiness. The Montenegrin
says that the Serb chatters like a gipsy (though we must not forget
that, as Miss Durham remarked,[117] he is hurt if things Serbian are
criticized by an outsider); he has been told that the Englishman is
grave, like himself, and therefore he appreciates him from afar. But not
many Englishmen (or Serbs) would care to indulge, like the Montenegrins,
in the ceaseless recapitulation of time-honoured exploits. The younger
folk are not so faithful to these ancient stories, but it is in
Montenegro that performers on the one-stringed, monotonous guslar can
most easily find an audience. The Serbs of the kingdom have become more
eclectic in musical matters, though even with them the popular taste is
in favour of the man who snores, on the grounds that he is hearty and
robust. In so far as foreign influence is concerned, the Montenegrin has
been to some extent affected by Italian culture, while that of Greece
and Germany has acted on the Serb. But the Great War had an equally
unfortunate influence on both of them. One must, however, mention that
long before the War, and owing partly to Albanian influence, partly to
their own struggle for existence and partly to other causes, the
Montenegrins had shown themselves defective in straightforwardness.
Undoubtedly they had deteriorated under the example of Nikita, but this
unfortunate trait can also be discerned between the lines of the great
poem, the "Gorski Venac," written in the first half of the nineteenth
century. There used to be a certain amount of what we call theft in
Montenegro, but the natives of that country, as of Albania, cherished
rather communistic ideas; it seemed to them that they had a sort of
right to that which another possessed, particularly if he was a near
relative. After the War the Montenegrin was so much impoverished that he
stole more freely, and the Serb, whose hands had hitherto been
remarkably clean, took to the same habits and often in a very amateur
fashion. Thus in a Macedonian village where a British army store had
been rifled, the officers turned to the local priest, who was indignant
with his people and conducted the officers into every house. Nothing was
discovered, and the priest proposed that his own house should be
searched. He was told that this was unnecessary, but he insisted; and
when his careless wife led the way up a ladder into the loft a British
officer perceived at any rate one pair of khaki breeches. The patients
of the Scottish Women's Hospital at Belgrade were so unpractised in the
art of stealing that one of them--a typical case--returned one day to
have her leg attended to, and in raising her skirt revealed on the
petticoat, which had once been a tablecloth, a large "S.W.H." These
felonious ways are in contrast with the usual Serb candour. One
afternoon in Belgrade I was searching for a small street in a district
which I had not visited before. When at last, after many inquiries, I
came to within fifty yards of it I found a policeman--but it is only
fair to say that the majority of the force consisted at this time of
soldiers recently disbanded. When I asked him where the street might be,
the good man thought a while and then, throwing back his open hand and
giving up the problem in despair, said, "My God, I know not."

The wave of crime has manifested itself differently among the Serbs and
the Montenegrins, in that the latter have been more primitive and have
consummated their plundering by assassination--and this in a country
where between 1895 and 1913 only two men were murdered for their money.
In Serbia the people, even in the terrible distress after the War, did
not go to such lengths. During the first half-year, the only two cases
of unnatural death in the whole district of Čačak, where I spent a
couple of months, were both of them suicides, an old man hanging himself
on account of the death of his last remaining soldier son, and an
officer's wife, who had been too friendly to an Austrian, throwing
herself into a well on her husband's return. A certain village of the
same district is an instance of the frequency of all those minor
peccadilloes, such as drunkenness and rowdiness and so forth, which the
Serbs permit themselves. There is a law which lays it down that the
mayor must be a native and must be a man who never has been lodged in
gaol. But that unhappy village in the Čačak region is unable to
produce a single adult man with such a record.... If the Serb of the old
kingdom is a more easy-going individual than his brother of the
mountains it is quite erroneous to think that they dislike each other or
have not resolved to come together.


Some of Yugoslavia's neighbours were anxious, during the months which
followed the War, that we should learn how Serb and Croat were
continually at each other's throat. The dissensions between the two
branches of the Yugoslav family would have been much more serious and
more prolonged if their neighbours had paid less attention to them. It
is true that "our Serbian customs," in the words of Jaša Tomić,
"come from the village, while those of the Croats come from the nobles."
The humbler Croat, one may say, was an employee in a big store, while
the Serb was a small trader. The Croat would naturally like to introduce
the big-store system into Yugoslavia, but this the Serb does not
understand. He has a greater sense of responsibility and is more careful
with regard to the expenses. To the Croat, in the old Empire, it was
immaterial whether the officials were more or less costly. The bill was
paid by Austria, who was the foe. For some time the Croat found himself
forgetting that he was in Yugoslavia. When Cardinal Bourne came to
Zagreb in the spring of 1919 and the town-hall was decorated with the
British, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene and the town flag, some one asked
the mayor why the State flag had been omitted. He was horrified. "The
State flag!" he cried. Then it dawned upon him.... Numbers of Croats
have belonged to the governing class and--impelled by the Catholic
religion--have displayed more devotion to the arts than to the freedom
of their country. On the other hand the Serbs, a race of practical
peasants, have a highly developed national consciousness. This they owe
partly to their inborn political gifts and largely to their Church, for
the Orthodox religion--one may say, I think, without injustice--has more
frequently shown itself, so closely is it connected with the idea of the
State, to be rather of this world than of another. One should say the
Orthodox religion as it flourishes in the Balkans, for when the Russian
General Bobrikoff, who was attached to the person of King Milan, came
back with him to Belgrade after the Peace of San Stefano, he was
scandalized to see that religion had no greater share in the national
rejoicings. "Accustomed as I was in my own country," he said, "to see
nothing done without prayers and the blessing of the Church, I was
indeed astounded to observe that the priests played the part of
officials even in the cathedral, and often were altogether absent." This
reminds one of von Baernreiter, who wished to learn the Serbian
language, so that he would be more eligible for the governorship of
Bosnia. He asked his teacher at Vienna when one could hear sermons in
the Serbian church, and was informed that these occurred but twice a
year and that on those occasions everybody left the church. The Serb and
the Bulgar have come to neglect our distinctions between that which is
spiritual and that which is temporal; their religion is, in consequence
of their history, so inherent a part of the nation's life that in losing
it one would almost cease to be a Serb or a Bulgar. Their Church is as
national as that of the Armenians.[118] This may not be an ideal state
of things, but it prevailed in Spain under the Moorish oppression and in
the France of Jeanne d'Arc. During the crisis of the Great War the
churches in the West were everywhere national; and in Serbia it was
calculated that 60 per cent. of the sermons had a pronounced national

Now with these differences between the Croat and the Serb, does it not
seem strange that the vast majority of them are for union, with a part
of this majority in favour of a reasonable decentralization? But if we
investigate the motives of the Serbs and Croats who would thwart this
union, we will see that they have nothing of that faith which, after all
these centuries, has moved the Yugoslav multitude. Some of the Serbs
wish to keep aloof on the ground that Serbia in the last hundred years
has borne the brunt of the battle--and this, whether they were or were
not faced with a more difficult situation, is acknowledged by most of
the Croats, who for that reason would never dream of wishing the more
modern Zagreb to supplant Belgrade. Those few Croats who are not for
Yugoslavia are moved by ecclesiastical prejudice or by their longing for
the privileges which the Habsburgs granted them. But those who, for
various reasons, criticize the central Government are by no means
necessarily in favour of setting up a separate one. Whatever the
impetuous Radić may have said, he is out for Yugoslavia. Still one
cannot be astonished that he was sometimes misunderstood. The Zagreb
students who, towards the end of 1918, came to Svetozar Pribičević
with the request that he would let them kill the demagogue, were for
expressing in this way what Dr. Dušan Popović, the well-known
deputy, expressed in another. It was at the Zagreb Provincial Parliament
that he exclaimed, in the summer of 1918, that "This idea will be
victorious and therefore I say publicly, in the presence of the whole
people, that I am a Croat, a Serb and a Slovene, or, if you prefer it,
none of them but merely a Yugoslav." In 1914 when Stamboulüsky, the
future Prime Minister of Bulgaria, was arrested and accused of
Serbophilism, he declared: "I am neither Bulgar or Serb; I am a
Yugoslav!" ... For at least a generation Zagreb will remain
particularist, zealously preserving the differences--personal, social
and religious--which distinguish her people from the dominant Serbs. The
Croat officers who burned with shame at the Archduke's murder on Bosnian
soil, the Croat regiments that in 1915 marched into Belgrade with bands
playing and their colours flying, the Croat officials whose bread and
salt came from the Habsburgs in administering Yugoslav countries during
the War--all these will not forget a long, deep-rooted and honourable
tradition. But Zagreb is now even as Munich was in 1866; after having
been the Rome of the Yugoslav movement, the seat of its philosophy and
the centre of its politics, the Croat capital has now an atmosphere of
sad futility, for Belgrade is the beacon of the Yugoslav world. While
comparing Zagreb with Rome one must add that she had also the misfortune
to resemble Rome of the decadence--a good deal of outer polish was
imparted by the Austrians, at the expense of their victims' backbone.
The five centuries of Turkish domination had no such demoralizing
influence upon the Serbs, especially not in the country places. In the
opinion of a very close observer,[119] whom I quote, there is nothing
that so thoroughly displays the dominance of Belgrade as the agrarian
problem. The projected reforms, which have been based on the principle
that no one should own more land than he can cultivate with the aid of
his family, would dispossess large numbers of big landowners in Croatia
and still larger numbers of men with moderate holdings, whose
compensation would be "determined hereafter." The application of these
reforms has been delayed for various reasons, but nowhere at any time
has it been suggested that Croatia might reject them. In the old kingdom
of Serbia, with much the greater part of the land in peasant possession,
it may be said that there is no agrarian problem.... Those enemies of
Yugoslavia, by the way, who have hoped that the particularism of Croatia
would be something altogether different from what it is, should have
mingled with the crowd at Zagreb on the evening of Prince Alexander's
arrival in July 1920. The Prince interrupted his dinner, came out on to
the balcony and made a speech. "Draga moja bratjo Hrvati," he
said--"Croatians, my dear brothers." Not for a thousand years had a
ruler of Croatia addressed his people in their own tongue. One immense
roar of delight broke, as the _Morning Post's_ special correspondent
tells us, from the assembled multitude; men fell on each other's necks,
laughed, wept and kissed each other.... Such manifestations must not
lead us to believe that all the internal problems of the young State are
settled. Croatia (as also Slovenia) is jealous of her separate identity,
suspicious to some extent of Serbia, her prestige and projects; she has
no intention of allowing herself, after the hard fight against
Magyarization, to be "Balkanized." But one thing was made clear by the
Prince's visit: there can be no word or thought of separation.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have spoken of the disaffection prevalent among the Croats, and on
this the world has fixed its eyes, because of the large number of Croat
deputies who have hitherto declined to come to Belgrade. Nevertheless
there is a more general and more grievous discontent in Yugoslavia,
since, after all, the Croats' attitude is of a temporary character--for
it is probable that after the next general election their peculiar
upbringing will not be so potent in determining their sentiments
towards the State. More and more will they be ready to make common cause
with Serbs and Slovenes; and their criticisms, which are now so
negative, will be of a more useful kind. (They will recognize, for
example, that if it costs 3000 dinars to open an inn in Serbia they were
not justified in protesting when the fee in Croatia was raised from 5
crowns to 5 dinars.) That Yugoslavia gives ground for criticism no one,
least of all her well-wishers, deny. And those who pray that she will
prosper do so for the reason that the scattered Southern Slavs have for
the first time now been able--most of them at any rate--to link their
arms together; and we hope that with high qualities outweighing their
defects the Southern Slavs will permanently take their place among the
nations. But this will not be brought about unless those ailments which
they suffer from are now confronted. Serbs themselves are often saying
that their little Serbia was better than this fine new country which is
thrice as large. She had fewer problems, she had fewer parties, and if
people were corrupt they were so on a smaller scale. Traditions which
are deprecatingly called Balkan, but which were at that time suited to a
Balkan country, should not be allowed to spread across a country which
is so much more than Balkan. Merit does not everywhere in this imperfect
world advance you automatically, but an effort is required in Yugoslavia
to resist the calls of friendship in appointing men to offices. The army
of officials is too numerous; yet many of them are so badly paid that
even if a great reformer could reduce by half their numbers he would be
inclined to lay no hand upon the total sum they now enjoy. But this
necessity of cleansing the public services is not peculiar to
Yugoslavia. The politicians must have courage to lay heavier taxes on
the peasants: the strange phenomenon is seen of peasants who assert that
they are quite prepared for this, and on the other hand of politicians
who are frightened lest it lose them many votes. The peasants generally
are so prosperous that some, for instance, whom I know of near
Kragujevac, men occupied in growing cereals, find that the fowls which
they keep rather as a hobby do not have to lay them golden eggs in order
to pay all the taxes. In that region it is usual nowadays for peasants
not to count their bank-notes, but to weigh them; recently a man
disposed of certain fields for his own weight in notes of ten dinars.
The peasants are not only dissatisfied with the two chief parties, the
Radicals and the Democrats, for not taxing them sufficiently--so that at
the next general election they may give a good deal more support than
hitherto to their own Peasants' party--but they complain that their
interests are neglected although, as we have seen, the lawyers and other
townsfolk of the Radical and Democrat parties are so anxious with
respect to peasants' votes.

The difficult position of the Yugoslavs--observe how in the last year
their exchange has fallen--is due in part to the deplorable activities
of other peoples (vast amounts have had to be imported for
reconstruction purposes, Rieka has been practically unavailable as a
port, and conditions have been such that the Yugoslavs have had to keep
a large army mobilized), partly their position is due to measures
ill-advised but which they were compelled to take (such as their system
of Agrarian Reform), partly to political inexperience and partly to
their lack of organizing powers. Let us hope that from now onwards
Yugoslavia will have to arm herself less heavily against the slings and
arrows of the world, and that she will be able therefore to become a
more proficient swimmer in this sea of troubles.


A map of the Balkan migrations, with its curved lines leading almost
everywhere, is a bewildering spectacle; but if we study the main
clusters of lines we shall see that the people whose movements they
chronicle have frequently preserved, in a remarkable fashion, certain
common characteristics: thus a stream flowed from the south-west towards
Valjevo in Serbia, and it is interesting to notice how the prominent men
of that region, whose ancestors came from somewhere between Montenegro
and the old frontiers of Serbia, have all of them certain
characteristics--a talent for foreign languages, a subtlety of
reasoning, originality but insufficient observation, and clever but
fallacious minds. Similarly in the Bulgar there are qualities which even
now can be ascribed to the Mongol blood. The Bulgar is more stolid than
the Serb; he is less given to sympathy and on that account can be cruel.
The Bulgar is benevolent because he is urged by kindliness, whereas the
more impressionable Serb is under the influence both of sentiment,
sentimentality and sympathy. These differences of temperament--and there
are others, more or less distinguishable--do not seem to Balkan thinkers
any reason why the two should keep apart. And a couple of months after
the Great War, during which the Bulgars, as their best friends must
acknowledge, were far from irreproachable in occupied Serbia--partly
this was due to the vast number of new posts for which they had no
suitable men--a few months afterwards a Bulgarian engineer was placidly
working among the Serbs at Čačak railway station, wearing his own
uniform. And a Serbian butcher who emigrated to Bulgaria settled down at
Ferdinand just before the War and has lived there unmolested up to this
day, and that in spite of his not being very highly esteemed--for, as
the police president told me, he had married a woman with more wealth
than good fame; the president had been among her lovers.... One would
not suppose that the contrasting public morality of the two countries
will keep them apart. It is easy enough for us to argue that this
morality is on a pretty low level, because a Bulgarian War Minister saw
fit to sue, under a _nom de guerre_, a French armament firm which
omitted to send him the stipulated commission; because another Minister,
incarcerated on account of felony, could be liberated by the grace of
Tzar Ferdinand and become Premier; because a Serbian Minister used to
buy himself corner-houses, while his Bulgarian colleagues seem to own
most of the houses in Sofia. There was a minor Serbian official over
against whom I took my meals for about a month; one of his ways was to
produce a pocket-knife and cut his bread with it. Certain other parts of
his ritual did not appeal to me, but who knows whether I did not disgust
him by breaking my bread with my fingers? And who knows what sentiments
were awakened some years ago at the Orthodox monastery of Gromirija, in
Croatia, when a foreign guest proposed to wash himself in water, though
by the joyous custom of that house there was no other liquid on the
premises but wine? If there is in both countries, in Serbia and
Bulgaria, a movement against the cynicism which does not clothe its
corruption with a decent Western drapery, that is something; if there is
a further movement in the direction of probity, that is something more.
And, whatever some Serbs may tell you, it is undeniable that honesty has
made important strides in the public life of that kingdom, even without
having added to the Statute Book those rigorous proposals of the
newly-formed Peasants' party, one of which would punish a peculating
official with death. It is, however, apparent that this party has not
arrived at a sense of discretion, for it wants to terminate the practice
of allowing pensions to officials, so that each man is obliged to make
his own provision for old age. Bulgaria, the younger country, has made a
proportionate progress; there is trustworthy German evidence to the
effect that the corrupt Radoslavoff Government was despised by the
people, not in the hour of disaster but in 1916, when the Bulgarian
soldiers changed the words of an anti-Serb song and instead of "Our old
allies are brigands" proclaimed that "the Liberals are brigands." This
German, Dr. Helmut von den Steinen, the correspondent of the
_Nordeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung_ (in which he was bound to speak
favourably of Radoslavoff) used to deliver propaganda lectures in the
Bulgarian language at Sofia during the War. He was very well acquainted
with Bulgarian affairs and being summoned to Berlin at the end of 1917
he made a speech[120] _in camera_ to a committee of German savants and
artists. In the course of this he lamented that his country had attached
herself to Radoslavoff, who, said he, was hated and would at the next
elections be swept away.

As one must repeat _ad nauseam_, the gulf between Serb and Bulgar has
not been caused by an extreme divergence of their private or their
public morals, academically considered, but by the various incidents
which in the eyes of each of them testified to the other's depravity.
And at the bottom of it all was Macedonia--Macedonia which now, being
wisely administered, will be the foundation-stone of Yugoslavia.

At the end of his book, _Balkan Problems and European Peace_, Mr. Noel
Buxton agrees that such a Yugoslav Federation has become a practical
possibility. But his two alternative proposals with respect to what
should meanwhile be the fate of Macedonia would indefinitely postpone
that Federation. We have already dealt with the proposal of autonomy,
put forward also by Mr. Leland Buxton. As for what Mr. Noel Buxton calls
the ideal solution--"a plebiscite conducted by an impartial
international commission over the whole of the historical province of
Macedonia"--this is aiming no higher than at a perpetuation of the two
distinct countries, Serbia and Bulgaria. We should probably have had
more plebiscites in Europe if more Allied armies had been available, but
the campaign of intimidation and every sort of ruthlessness which
occurred in Upper Silesia and Schleswig make us look rather askance upon
this method of registering the popular will. Mr. Buxton airily asks for
a plebiscite over the whole of the historical province of Macedonia,
ignoring altogether the special difficulty that "Macedonia" means
something quite different to the Serb, the Bulgar and the Greek. He
dismisses likewise the universal difficulty of plebiscites, which is to
be just in laying down the limits of the various regions. But there is
really no need for Mr. Buxton to take us on to those quagmires, since he
knows, and is good enough to tell us, what the result of the plebiscite
will be. "The Bulgarian sympathies," says he, "of the mass of the
Macedonian population are apparent to every inquiring traveller." If Mr.
Buxton were to encounter one of those pretty lawless Karakačan
nomads, who from the Monastir district wander all over the Balkans, his
recognition of the man's Roman and Thraco-Illyrian descent would be
facilitated by the permanent cheesy odour which pervades his person.
There is nothing so permanent about the Macedonian Slav. His
sympathies, as is natural, have gone out to that Balkan country which
cultivated him and since, as Dr. Milovanović, the Serbian statesman,
says, "the Serbs did not begin to think about Macedonia till 1885," it
would indeed have been extraordinary if the Macedonian Slavs--whose
ethnical position, as scientists agree, is such a vague one--had been
generally drawn to Serbia. One cannot help feeling that in this book Mr.
Buxton does a serious disservice to his reputation as a Balkan expert.
He says that Serbia until the accession of King Peter was Austrophil;
which is, to put it mildly, a very sweeping remark--only that party
which called itself Progressive was identified with Milan's views. He
praises the Bulgars for being devoted to their national Church, and
praises them for producing a large number of Protestants, whose
sincerity, etc., so that one presumes he would have praised them still
more if the whole nation, as was once on the cards, had joined the
Protestant Church. Save me from my friends! the Bulgars might say. What
is perfectly sincere about them is their patriotism; and while some of
those who now change their religion have doubtless no ulterior, personal
motive, the entire country would probably have as little reluctance as
Japan in adopting any religion which, like the Exarchist Church of
to-day, would be an instrument of the national cause. Mr. Buxton's
knowledge of the Balkan protagonists has its limitations; for example,
prior to Bulgaria's entry into the War he was all for the removal of the
British Minister on account of his pro-Serbian sympathies, but he says
no word about M. Savinsky, the Russian Minister, who was left by his
Entente colleagues to play the first violin. This capricious gentleman
was no diplomat, but a courtier. He did not even protest when German
munitions for Turkey passed through Roumania, and far too much of his
time was spent in motoring with pretty girls in the neighbourhood of
Sofia. Many good observers were of opinion that with a more competent
Russian representative, such as M. Nekludoff, who in 1914 was
transferred to Stockholm, the situation would have been saved. In their
memorandum submitted in January 1915 to Lord (then Sir Edward) Grey,
Messrs. N. and C. R. Buxton said that their experience of fifteen years
convinced them that the Bulgarian sentiment of the Macedonians could
not in a short time be made to give way to another national sentiment.
If we rule out, as being slaves of circumstance, all the Macedonians who
now tell you that from Bulgar they have changed to Serb, there is no
reason why we should not credit those who are so weary of the rival
activities of both parties that they wish for peace and nothing else.
They would follow, not the Messrs. Buxton, but the priest of the
Bulgarian village of Chuprenia, who told me that he held that one might
pray to God for the success of the Bulgarian arms, without saying
whether they were in the right or in the wrong. After the end of the war
this priest sent a telegram, which was perhaps a little indiscreet,
advocating that the Bulgarian people should join in Yugoslavia.

To prevent the Southern Slavs being torn by internal strife, it is
necessary between Serbia and Bulgaria that one of them should for a time
be paramount. We may be confident that Serbia will not abuse her
position. In fact it is the opinion of a Roumanian lady at Monastir that
the Serbs were uncommonly rash in taking into their service so many who
once had called themselves Bulgars and now maintain that they are Serbs.
But Serbia has become relatively so strong that she can be indulgent.
She will even satisfy that Bulgarian professor who is said to have
discussed the Macedonian question with the British military attaché.

The attaché suggested a division between Serbia and Bulgaria.

"No," said the professor; "let the country remain a whole, like the
child before Solomon."

"Would you be satisfied?" asked the attaché, "if this question were now
decided once and for all?"

"Yes," said the professor, "if the judge be another Solomon."

Among the Bulgars who are looking forward to the day when their country
will, in some form or other, join Yugoslavia, there are some who suggest
that when comparative tranquillity has been assured upon the Macedonian
frontiers (that is to say, between Macedonia and the Albanians) it would
be as well to garrison the province with Croatian regiments, pending
the employment in their own country of Macedonian troops. Gradually the
time will come when, as one of the units of the Yugoslav State,
Macedonia will enjoy the same amount of Home Rule as the other
provinces. She will then, maybe, decide for herself such matters as the
preservation of her dialects, local administration, police, etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

Once on the banks of the Danube when I was going to sail from one of
these countries to her neighbour with whom she had recently been at war,
and some of the inhabitants had kindly come to see me off, I was
presented, amongst other things, with an old gentleman's good wishes,
which he had taken the trouble to express in French and in verse. I
believe that he recited them, but there was a considerable tumult on the
landing-stage. Then a very angry traveller appropriated one of my ears
and began to tell me that they were for detaining him in this country;
three or four natives of the country reported, simultaneously, into my
other ear that he had been letting off his revolver and was altogether a
dangerous man. I was to settle whether he should sail or not, and
meanwhile his luggage had been put ashore. He waved his passport in my
face. Both he and his opponents were gesticulating with great violence,
and this they continued to do even after I filled their hands with most
of the small and large bouquets which the friendly people had brought
down for me. There was so much noise that the boat's whistle, which the
captain started, was no more than a forest-tree soaring slightly over
those around it. As I tried to disentangle myself from those who
encircled me I caught sight of the old gentleman of the poem--in
appearance he was a smaller edition of the late Dr. Butler of Trinity;
he was clearly nervous lest I should depart without his lines, which he
extended towards me, written on the back of one of his visiting-cards. I
was just then being told by the agitated traveller that he had only been
firing into the air because it was Easter, and that this was his
invariable custom at midnight on Easter-Eve. The explanation was so
satisfactory that everyone welcomed my suggestion that he should sail
and that they should send his revolver on to him by parcel post. They
all shook hands with him. The two nationalities were on excellent terms.
And we may transfer the old gentleman's good wishes to them and the
other Yugoslavs:

    Oh! la belle journée de votre bonheur,
    Souhaitons votre bon voyage tout-à-l'heure.
    Couronné de grands succès du ciel je vous implore,
    Allegrèsse, santé et prosperité je vous augure.


    [Footnote 116: Cf. _Modern Italy_, by Giovanni Borghese. Paris,

    [Footnote 117: Cf. _Through the Lands of the Serb_.]

    [Footnote 118: Cf. _The Children of the Illuminator_, by Bishop
    Nicholai Velimirović. London, 1919.]

    [Footnote 119: _Edinburgh Review_, July 1920 (anonymous).]

    [Footnote 120: Subsequently printed as a pamphlet with the
    title, _Die Ausgestaltung des deutschen Kultur-Einflusses in
    Bulgarien_. This was printed by the Opposition parties in
    Sofia, who to circumvent the censor gave out that it was
    written by an Englishman against Bratiano.]


(_The Names of Books, Newspapers, and Ships are in Italics._)

Abbazia, Conditions at, 72 _et seq._

Achikou (Kol), brother of Anthony, 326.

Achikou (Prof. Anthony), the Mirdite, 285, 327 _et seq._

_Adeverul_, its claims, 363.

Agrarian Reform in Czecho-Slovakia, 136.
-- -- in Hungary, 135.
-- -- in Yugoslavia, 132 _et seq._

Ahmed Beg Mati, 282-3.

_Albanais_, _Les_, quoted, 352.

_Albanesische Studien_, quoted, 287.

Albanians against Austrian army, 100.
-- compared with Basques, 294.
-- -- -- Kurds, 311.
-- of Dalmatia, 38.
-- and the land in Yugoslavia, 136-7.

_Albanie Independente_, quoted, 292.

_Albanien und die Albanesen_, quoted, 288.

Alberti (Mario), his _L'Adriatico et il Mediterraneo_, 66.

Alexander (King) and the Communists, 221.
-- -- and the Croats, 400.
-- -- on the Italians, 60, 120.

Ambassadors' Conference, 273, 337 _et seq._, 349 _et seq._

Ambris (A. di) and the British boots, 219.

Anglo-Albanian Society, 296, 306, 323.

Apponyi (Count), on Hungary's neighbours, 371.

Asquith (H. H.) and Dalmatia, 92.

Austrian activities in Albania, 277-8, 281, 286, 292, 303, 316-7, 320.

Austrians in Montenegro, 97 _et seq._
-- their hospitals, 97-8.

Austrians, their parliamentary manners, 224.

Autonomists, the old party, 29, 35-6, 45-6, 159 _et seq._
--the Rieka party, 46, 54, 261.

Avramović of the Peasants' party, 242.

Badoglio (General) and the coal-supply, 215-6.

Balkan Committee, 347.

Banat, after the War, 124 _et seq._, 362 _et seq._

Baroš, _see_ Rieka.

Bartlett (C. A. H.) and Italy's rights, 139.

Basri Bey, 292-3.

Beaumont (A.), the correspondent, 47, 53, 55-6, 64.

Belloc (H.), his curious ideas, 25-6, 35.

_Bellum Gallicum_, quoted, 287.

Bencivenga (General) and the Albanians, 280.

Benelli (Sem), poet and warrior,

Berati Bey, the delegate, 273.

Berlin Congress and two villages, 304.

_Bessa Shqyptare_, its existence, 285-6.

Bib Doda, Prenk, 291, 324-5.

Bissolati, the gallant Minister, 80 _et seq._, 85-6, 152.

Blakeney, for Rieka, 268.

Blood-vengeance, Monsignor Bumçi on, 285.
-- Miss Durham on, 287.
-- how it may be washed out, 298.
-- its high-water mark, 288.
-- its prevalence, 293, 330.
-- its relative decline, 283.

Bobrikoff (General), on religion in Serbia, 397-8.

Bogić (Dr.), the victim, 149 _et seq._

Bojana, perilous for French boats, 96.

Bojanić (Dom Ivo), his protest, 175.

Borghese (Prince Livio), 375.

Bosnia and Agrarian Reform, 132-3, 221.
-- after the War, 106 _et seq._, 220-1.

_Bosnische Post_, quoted, 95.

Boxich (Dr.), the results of truthfulness, 164-5.

Brodie (Captain), his exploit, 306 _et seq._

Brunhes (Prof. Jean), cited, 350.

Bryce (Roland), his Montenegrin report, 253 _et seq._

Bufani, of the Banat, 370.

Bukvich (Captain), the Intelligence Officer, 158 _et seq._

Bulgars, some characteristics, 403-4.
-- and the future, 405 _et seq._

Bumçi (Monsignor), the mild Regent, 281, 283, 284, 285, 290-1.

Buonfiglio (R.), the journalist, 176, 178, 182.

Burić (V.), 193-4.

Burrows (the late Prof.) and the Albanians, 276.

Buxton (Noel), 347, 405 _et seq._
-- -- his _Balkan Problems and European Peace_, 405.

Cagni (Admiral) at Pola, 23-4, 44.

Candrea (Prof.), his map, 364.

Cappone (Colonel) of Šibenik, 35, 145.

Carducci, quoted, 83.

Carinthia, hostilities, 124, 128 _et seq._
-- the plebiscite, 374 _et seq._

Cecil (Lord Robert) and the Albanians, 323, 327, 328-9.

Čekonić (Count) and the Dobrovoljci, 135.

Centurione, the deputy, 78.

Chauvinism, Serbian lack of, 348-9, 384.

_Chicago Tribune_, quoted, 198-9.

Chimigò (Prof.) and the Italians, 282.

Church in Albania, 291.
-- -- in Croatia, 242-3, 245.
-- -- in Serbia, 397-8.

Cicoli (Admiral) and Austria's collapse, 18-9.

Clemenceau (G.), 23, 93, 199, 213 _et seq._, 284.

Čokorilo and his undesirable newspaper, 109 _et seq._

Colajanni and the Slovenes, 388.

Communists in Yugoslavia, 221 _et seq._, 238, 254.

_Contemporary Review_, quoted, 15, 247-8.

_Corriere d'Italia_ (and _see_ Buonfiglio), 215.

Costume, Absence of, 287-8.

Cres, Italian measures at, 42, 56 _et seq._

Croats and Agrarian Reform, 133 _et seq._, 221.
-- -- and Magyars, 246.
-- -- their relations to the Serbs, 111 _et seq._, 220, 240 _et seq._,
                                    244 _et seq._, 251-2, 397 _et seq._

Crosse (Rev. E. C.), his _The Defeat of Austria_, 14.

Cunnington (Captain Willett), his accusation, 306, 309.

Cvijić (Prof.), his views, 275.

_Daily Telegraph_, quoted, 47.

Dalmatia, why demanded by Italians, 87 _et seq._
-- -- deportations from, 152.
-- -- population, 148-9, 230-1.
-- -- how treated by Italians, 148 _et seq._

_Dalmazia_, a newspaper, 171 _et seq._

D'Annunzio, his absurdity, 86.
-- -- the Holy Entry, 196.
-- -- various exploits at Rieka, 208 _et seq._
-- -- his invective, 83.
-- -- his munificence, 280-1.
-- -- in temporary possession, 198 _et seq._
-- -- his thousand proclamations, 197.
-- -- disapproves of Treaty of Rapallo, 234-5.

Darković, the respected deputy, 96.

Davidović, leader of Democrats, 225.

Dell (Anthony) on the Italians, 15.

Delonga (Jakov), his testimony, 76.

Devine (A.) and his propaganda, 193-4, 227-8.

Djakovica, 293, 298 _et seq._

Djer Doucha, the villain, 307.

Djoni (Mark), President of the Mirditi, 324, 325, 328, 342.

Doci (Primo), the great Abbot, 324.

Doday (Father Paul), 286.

Doimi (Dr.) of Vis, 29.

Domiakušić (Prof.) at Šibenik, 144.

Donghi (Marchese), his assertions, 26-7.

Draghicesco (Dr.), his _Les Roumains de Serbie_, 356.

Drašković, his murder, 223-4.

Drin, river, as a frontier, 279, 302, 304, 321.

Durham (Edith), apologist, 289, 290.
-- -- compared with Sir Charles Eliot, 310 _et seq._
-- -- disgusted with Great Britain, 313.
-- -- her _Through the Lands of the Serb_, 395.
-- -- her _Twenty Years of Balkan Tangle_, 310.
-- -- her respect for Mr. Bottomley, 311.
-- -- her wrath, 305.
-- -- on Albanian medicine, 288.
-- -- on the tyranny of Serbian schools, 297.

_Echo de l'Adriatique_, its suppression, 62-3.

_Edinburgh Review_, quoted, 230, 399.

_Edinost_, quoted, 123.

Eliot (Sir Charles), 274, 289, 310 _et seq._

Entente, Little, 269 _et seq._

_Epopea Shqyptare_, quoted, 284.

Essad and Essadists, 292-3, 336, 342-3, 345.

European War and the Albanians, 312-3, 317, 345-6.

Evangheli (Pandeli), 345.

Evans (Sir Arthur), 67, 184 _et seq._

Fan Noli, the versatile, 327-8.

Fascisti, 78, 217, 260 _et seq._

Fichta (Father), 284, 293.

Fisher (Rt. Hon. H. A. L.), 340 _et seq._

Fiume, _see_ Rieka.

Fodor (Prof. Dr.), on race, 8.

_Fortnightly Review_, quoted, 20, 26, 269, 275, 280, 324, 333.

Franchet d'Espérey (Marshal) and Albania, 274, 278-9, 350, 351.
-- -- -- and Montenegro, 96, 103.

Frank party in Croatia, 114.

French, how they regarded the Italians, 63-4, 96, 199.
-- how treated by the Italians, 42, 198-9.

Freund (Leo), the secret agent, 281.

Frontier, Yugoslav, with Albania, 273 _et seq._
-- -- with Austria, 374 _et seq._
-- -- with Bulgaria, 354-5.
-- -- with Greece, 353-4.
-- -- with Hungary, 370 _et seq._
-- -- with Italy, 383 _et seq._
-- -- with Roumania, 356 _et seq._

Gaeta army, 187, 228.

Gardner (E.), on Balkanic mentality, 236.

Gauvain, the publicist, 90.

Gavazzi (Dr. A.), on Rieka's population, 54.

_Gazzetta del Popolo_, quoted, 197.

"Géographie Humaine de la France," quoted, 350.

Germans, in Banat, 363 _et seq._
-- in Carinthia, 374 _et seq._

Giglioli (Prof.), his claim, 79, 80.

Giolitti, 78, 210, 219, 234.

Giuratti, the patriot, 264-5.

_Glasgow Herald_, on Treaty of Rapallo, 233.

Glomažić, the lame prefect, 105, 192.

Goad (H. E.), his explanations, 90, 269, 275, 280, 325, 333.
-- -- his wrath, 231, 324, 350.

Godart (Justin), his work in Albania, 279, 334.
-- -- his _L'Albanie en 1921_, 351.

Gorica, its population, 388-9.

Gothardi of Rieka, 46-7.

_Grazer Tagblatt_, 378.

Grazioli (General) at Rieka, 54, 62.

Grossich (Dr.) of Rieka, 48, 140, 258-9.

Grubišić and his flag, 260.

Gusinje, its past and future, 304 _et seq._

Hahn (Consul), his labours, 287.

Halim Beg Derala, 285, 298.

Hanotaux (Gabriel), 294, 351.

Haumant (E.), his _La Slavisation de la Dalmatie_, 89.

Herbert (Hon. Aubrey, M.P.), 288.
-- -- on Montenegro, 257.
-- -- his propaganda, 327.

Herbert (Hon. Aubrey, M.P.), his request, 323.
-- -- his testimony, 306.
-- -- the 120 villages, 296.

Hickmann (Prof.), cited, 346.

_Histoire illustrée de la guerre de 1914_, quoted, 351.

Hlaća (Karlo) of Cres, 56 _et seq._

Horthy (Admiral) at Pola, 17 _et seq._, 270.

_Hrvat_, on the Carinthian plebiscite, 382-3.

_Humanité_, 76.

_Hungarian Nation_, quoted, 8.

Hvar, its interesting names, 32-3.
-- the Italians land on, 32 _et seq._

Imperiali (Marquis), his submission, 329.

Islamism, Fanatic, of some Albanians, 299.
-- Superficial, of other, 281.
-- Treatment of, by Greek Church, 301.
-- Treatment of, by Montenegrins, 302.

Islands of Adriatic, demanded by Italy, 166 _et seq._
-- -- -- visited, 165 _et seq._

Istria, its population, 121, 386 _et seq._

Italianists of Dalmatia and Rieka, 35, 39, 40, 54, 137 _et seq._, 158, 175.

Italians (and _see_ Dalmatia) and Allied flags, 145, 155, 178.
-- reprimanded by their Allies, 161-2.
-- loyalty to Austria in the War, 159 _et seq._
-- system of bribery, 156 _et seq._, 163, 170, 176.
-- land in Dalmatia, 29 _et seq._
-- discouragement in 1917, 11.
-- conduct towards the French, 42, 52, 198-9.
-- what they thought of the French, 94.
-- generosity in Albania, 282, 328, 333, 344.
-- Good and bad, on the islands, 168 _et seq._
-- incapacity, 275, 278, 319.
-- intrigues, 274, 279, 280 _et seq._, 292, 303, 305, 329, 337-8, 351.

Italians land in Istria, 42 _et seq._
-- and the Dalmatians' money, 37-8, 147-8, 153-4, 163.
-- in Montenegro, 94 _et seq._, 105, 187 _et seq._, 194-5.
-- naval enterprise, 123-4.
-- naval enterprise, lack of, 16 _et seq._, 27-8.
-- measures at Rab, 59, 60.
-- measures against Rieka, 262 _et seq._
-- measures at Rieka, 48, 52, 195 _et seq._
-- against the Serbo-Croat language, 57.
-- retreat from Slovenia, 61.
-- what they had to face in 1918, 12 _et seq._
-- how they regard the Yugoslavs, 16, 84.
-- how they are regarded by the Yugoslavs, 15-6, 27-8, 201, 236-7.
-- relations with Yugoslavs, 383 _et seq._
-- steps against Yugoslav churches and schools, 44, 57 _et seq._, 146-7,
                                                152-3, 184.

_Italy in the Balkans at this Hour_, quoted, 292.

Jaray (Gabriel Louis), 352.

Jireček (Dr. C.), his _Die Handelsstrassen, etc._, 33.

_Journal des Débats_, 76, 91, 329, 339.

Kadri (Hodja), 283.

Karl (ex-Emperor), his grand offer, 320.

Karólyi (Count Michael), 125.

Katarani (Prof.), 292.

Klementi, 316 _et seq._

Koch (Admiral), the active Slovene, 17 _et seq._

Korac, the remarkable Socialist, 117-8.

Korčula, Italians land on, 31-2.

Korošec (Monsignor), 115, 117, 119, 382.

_Koroski Slovenec_, 383.

"Kossovo" Committee, 326.

Kossovo in Yugoslavia, its condition, 287.

Kovaćs (A.), turns to the Croats, 8.

Krk, the persecuted Bishop, 40 _et seq._
-- Proceedings at, 39 _et seq._

_Labour Monthly_ on the "White Terror," 224.

_Land and Water_, quoted, 25, 35.

Language of Bosnia, 89.

Laveleye (M. de), his _The Balkan Peninsula_, 203.

_Lavoratore_, quoted, 217, 386.

Lazari, his question, 187.

League of Nations, 323, 337 _et seq._

Leiper (R.), the shrewd observer, 104, 188-9, 242.

Lenac (Dr.) of Rieka, 45, 50, 52.

_Leonidas_, the American ship, 31-2.

Lesina, _see_ Hvar.

Leyland (John), the naval authority, 25.

Liga Nazionale, its schools, 59, 158, 184, 318.

Lin, a village, 342.

Lincoln, quoted, 209.

Lissa, _see_ Vis.

Ljocha (Alush) and his house, 283-4.

Lloyd George (D.) and the Adriatic, 93, 213-4.
-- -- and the Serbo-Albanian frontier, 284, 336 _et seq._

Lovrana, 73-4.

Luzzatti, compares two civilizations, 172.

Macchiedo (Dr.), liberated from Sardinia, 152.

Macdonald (J. N.), his _A Political Escapade_, 199, 258, 327.

Macedonia, and the Communists, 222-3.
-- its progress and future, 137, 202, 405 _et seq._

Magnanimity of the Serbs, 124 _et seq._, 270.

Magyar hopes, 270.

Mahnić (Bishop), _see_ Krk.

_Manchester Guardian_, quoted, 21, 186, 236, 313.

Mandirazza (F.) and his two masters, 84.

Marković (Dr. Lazar), 337.

Marković (Sima), the Communist, 223-4, 238.

Martinić (Count), his ruthlessness, 98-9.

Martinović (General), 346.

Massingham (H. W.), 192.

_Mattino_, quoted, 75.

Maximović (Colonel) at Rieka, 51-2.

Mazzini, and Vis, 82.

_Mercure de France_, quoted, 123.

Miletić (Captain), his murder, 195.

Millo (Admiral), on Austrian currency, 153.
-- -- on Dr. Boxich, 165.
-- -- and d'Annunzio, 197, 209, 215.
-- -- Homage to, 87.
-- -- discourses on public order, 174.
-- -- on the Slavs, 141 _et seq._

Milovanović (Dr.), on Macedonia, 406.

Minorities in Yugoslavia, 201 _et seq._

Mirditi, 290, 323 _et seq._, 340 _et seq._

M'Neill (Ronald, M.P.), champion of Montenegro, 95, 102, 191, 253 _et seq._

Montaigne, quoted, 194.

Montenegrins and Albanians, 136-7.
-- and the Austrian army, 98 _et seq._
-- their culture, 393 _et seq._
-- their General Election, 253 _et seq._
-- as migrants, 228.
-- misled, 94, 187-8.

Montesquieu, quoted, 90.

Moretti (Dr.), his pacific efforts, 180-1.

_Morning Post_, quoted, 88, 104, 188-9, 191, 218, 242, 257, 336, 400.

Moslems in Bosnia, 119, 202-3, 220-1, 225, 393.

Mousset (Albert), 339.

Müller (Dr. Max) and Albanian affairs, 276 _et seq._

Narodna Uprava, 127.

_Nation_, quoted, 192, 267, 310.

_Nazione_, quoted, 261.

_Near East_, quoted, 257, 309, 337, 346-7.

_Neue Freie Presse_, quoted, 124.

_New Europe_, quoted, 79, 80, 84-5, 123, 369.

_New Statesman_, quoted, 296, 309.

Nicholas of Montenegro, his lack of courage, 9.
-- -- deposed, 100 _et seq._
-- -- his downfall, 255 _et seq._

Nicholas of Montenegro, his methods with Albanians, 289.
-- -- his methods with Europe, 304.
-- -- and the Skupština, 106.

Nikai (Dom Ndoc), 285.

_Nineteenth Century and After_, quoted, 25, 95, 102, 256.

Nitti and d'Annunzio, 196, 198, 201, 209, 210, 212-3, 215-6, 218.

Nopsca (Baron), 274, 288.

Novi Bazar, Sandjak, 108, 119, 316-7.

Obradović (Dositej), 315.

Obrovac, Divergent views concerning, 148.

_Observer_, quoted, 340.

_Obzor_, a newspaper, 115.

Orlando, the Premier, 78, 80, 85-6, 91, 138, 185.

Pact of Rome, 84 _et seq._, 185.

Paolucci (Lieut.), and the _Viribus Unitis_, 16, 20 _et seq._

Parkington (Sir R.), 194.

Parties, Political, in Yugoslavia, 117 _et seq._

Pašić, his astuteness, 85, 117, 240.
-- his prudence, 133, 225.

Patchoù (Dr.), of the triumvirate, 225, 282.

Pavelić (Dr. A.), dentist and politician, 114-5, 117, 119.

Peć, 293, 298.

Pelagosa, its amenities, 167.

Pericone (Captain) of Scutari, 280, 343.

Pistuli (Notz), his mission, 328.

Pivko (Prof.), his exploit, 13.

Plamenac (J.) and the Gaeta army 187.
-- -- his unpopularity, 94-5.

Plav, 304 _et seq._

Podgorica Skupština, 100 _et seq._

Poggi (Lieut.), at Korčula, 31, 183.

Pojar (Dr.), his case, 390.

Pola, 16 _et seq._, 42, 44, 387-8.

Pombara (Captain Binnos de), his feat, 27-8.

Pommerol (Captain), on the islands, 165 _et seq._

Popović (Dr. Dušan), 246-7, 399.

Popovitch (Dr. A.), his curious
career, 356 _et seq._

_Posta e Shqypnis_, quoted, 284.

_Pravda_, quoted, 336.

_Pravi Dalmatinac_, 73.

Prekomurdje, what happened there, 372 _et seq._

Prênnushi (Father Vincent), 286, 344.

Prezzolini (G.), on Dalmatia and Tripoli, 82.
-- -- and Vis, 82.

Pribičević (Svetozar), the Minister, 44, 117-8, 225-6, 240-1,
                                     245 _et seq._, 399.

_Primorske Novine_, quoted, 92.

Priština, Horrid conditions at, 298.

Protić, the statesman, 113, 225-6.

_Quarterly Review_, on Yugoslavia, 226, 247.

Race before religion, 390-1.

Račić (Pouniša), 278, 306 _et seq._, 330.

Radić (S.) of Croatia, 111 _et seq._, 119, 135-6, 238 _et seq._, 399.
-- -- his _Dom_, 242-3.

Radošević (Dr.), 118.

Radović (Andrija), 187-8.

Raineri (Admiral), 49 _et seq._

Rapallo, Treaty of, 83, 211, 232 _et seq._, 260 _et seq._, 384.

Rapp, his testimonial, 125.

_Rassegna Italiana_, quoted, 63.

Re-Bartlett (Mrs.), on Dalmatia, 230-1.

Red Cross, American, 189.
-- -- International, 189.
-- -- Italian, 216.

Regnault (E.), his _Histoire politique, etc._, 358.

Religion before race, 372.

Rieka, _see_ D'Annunzio and Vio.
-- Americans at, 52.
-- the Austrian stores, 216 _et seq._
-- Baroš harbour, 260, 268.
-- the C.N.I., 45 _et seq._, 49, 54, 61-2, 140, 197, 212, 216 _et seq._,
               258 _et seq._
-- Croat mistakes, 48-9.
-- Croat National Council, 45 _et seq._, 62-3.
-- economic position, 66 _et seq._
-- the frenzy, 137 _et seq._
-- moribund under Italy, 259, 260.
-- population analysed, 53 _et seq._
-- a few scandals, 216 _et seq._

Rieka and the Treaty of Rapallo, 234-5, 385 _et seq._

_Rijeć_, quoted, 64.

Ristić (Colonel) and the komitadjis, 194-5.

Rossetti (Major) and the _Viribus Unitis_, 16, 20 _et seq._

Roth (Dr.), Lord of Temešvar, 127-8.

Roumanians in Banat, 9, 10, 362 _et seq._
-- and their Jews, 203 _et seq._
-- in Serbia, 356 _et seq._

Rugovo, Reason for burning of, 305.

Ryan (T. S.) of the _Chicago Tribune_, 198-9.

Salis (Count de), his mission, 190-1.

Salonica, and the Serbs, 353-4.

Salvemini (Prof.), the anti-chauvinist, 87, 231-2, 234.

Salvi (Dr.) of Split, 159 _et seq._

_Samouprava_, quoted, 337.

San Marzano (General di), 51-2, 54, 61.

Sanctis (Lieut. de), his sanctions, 163.

Saseno, 295.

_Saturday Review_, 231.

Savinsky, the Russian Minister, 406.

Sazonov, and the Adriatic, 91-2.

Schanzer (Signor), on Rieka, 264-5.

Schools, _see_ Liga Nazionale.
-- for Albanians, 300.
-- in Carinthia, 377-8.
-- at Cres, 57-8.
-- in Dalmatia, 146-7.
-- in Istria, 73-4.
-- at Korčula, 184.
-- Militant, at Borgo Erizzo, 38.
-- in Montenegro, 257.
-- at Pola, 44.
-- at Rieka, 53.
-- at Šibenik, 144-5.
-- at Zadar, 35.

_Scotsman_, on Treaty of Rapallo, 233.

Scutari, its probable future, 296, 320, 335.

Sebenico, _see_ Šibenik.

_Secolo_, on Montenegro, 257.
-- on Treaty of London, 50.

_Secours des Enfants Serbes_, _Au_, 27.

Segré (General), his alleged request, 140.

_Sera_, quoted, 280.

Serbo-Croat Coalition, 245 _et seq._

Serbs, in relation to Albanians, 295 _et seq._
-- -- -- Croats (and _see_ Croats), 115 _et seq._, 397 _et seq._
-- -- -- Montenegrins, 188-9, 192-3, 253 _et seq._, 393 _et seq._

Sereggi (Archbishop), 281-4.

Seton-Watson (Dr. R. W.), 236, 347, 354.

Sforza (Count), his letter, 268.

Šibenik, 30, 33 _et seq._, 144-5.

Siebertz, the traveller, 288, 291.

Šimunović (M.) and the Italians, 32.

Slovenes (_see_ Carinthia), their country, 120 _et seq._, 235-6, 245.
-- their culture, 392-3.
-- their political methods, 114-5, 374 _et seq._

Socialists, Italian, and Rieka, 211-2.

Šojat (F.) and Dr. Vio, 69.

Sonnino (Baron), 28, 75 _et seq._, 85-6, 93, 122, 138, 167, 185, 374, 384.

_Spectator_, quoted, 230.

Sportiello (Captain) at Vis, 30.

Stadler (Lieut.-Colonel), the podestà, 74, 137.

Stamboulüsky as a Yugoslav, 399.

Stamps, at Zagreb, 72.

Starčević party in Croatia, 117, 119, 248.

Steed (H. Wickham), his letter, 77.

Steinen (Dr. H. von den) and the Bulgars, 404.

Steinmetz, the traveller, 290.

Štiglić and the poor officials, 63.

Strossmayer, Radić on, 239.

_Suisse_, _La_, quoted, 328.

Supilo, of Dalmatia, 92.

Sušak, 54-5.

Susmel (Edoardo), the writer, 62.

Švegel (Ivan), on Italian shipping policy, 123-4.

Svibić (Colonel) and the Italians, 61.

Sydenham (Lord), his lack of discretion, 95, 188-9.

Szeged, its position, 369.

_Tablet_, quoted, 40.

Tamaro (Dr. A.) and _Modern Italy_, 94.

Tardieu, his suggestion concerning Rieka, 195.

Taylor (A. H. E.), on Prekomurdje, 373.

Temešvar in transition, 126 _et seq._, 367.

Temperley (Major H. W. V.), on Albania, 338-9.
-- -- on Montenegro, 254-5.
-- -- his _A History of the Peace Conference_, 354.
-- -- his _The Second Year of the League_, 338.

_Tempo_, on the Rieka deputations, 212.

_Temps_, quoted, 213, 336.

Teslić (Colonel), 50-1.

_Times_, quoted, 131, 344-5.

Tittoni, and Rieka, 195, 199.

Tomić (Jaša), the old-fashioned, 116, 397.

Treaty of London, 28-9, 33, 50, 60, 75 _et seq._, 80, 82, 90 _et seq._,
                  120, 213, 278.
-- -- Rapallo, _see_ Rapallo.

Trešić-Pavičić (Dr. A.), 19, 20.

Trevelyan (G. M.), on the Italians in Dalmatia, 235.

_Tribuna_, quoted, 75, 77.

_Tribune de Genève_, quoted, 327.

Triest, what is desirable, 122.
-- its future, 44, 386 _et seq._
-- Italians and Slovenes, 123.
-- its population, 121.

Trogir, the great invasion, 200-1.

Trumbić (Dr. A.), 86, 252, 321.

_Turkey in Europe_, quoted, 289.

_Under the Acroceraunian Mountains_, 327, 351.

_Unità_, quoted, 87.

Veglia, _see_ Krk.

Velika Kikinda, its necessities, 368.

Velimirović (Bishop), his _The Children of the Illuminator_, 398.

Venizelos and the Serbs, 353-4.
-- and Thrace, 355.

Veprinac, its population, 44.

Verdinois (Major), his word, 179, 180.

_Verrath bei Carzano_, _Der_, 13.

Veršac, the former Bishop's declaration, 202.

Veršac, scene of Roumanian activities, 10.

Vesnić (Dr.) and the Italians, 233-4, 237.

Vešović (General), his enterprises, 98, 228-9.

Vio (Dr.) of Rieka, 29, 45-6, 48, 54-5, 68 _et seq._

Vis, Italians land on, 29, 30.
-- concerning its possession, 82-3.

Vivante (A.), his _L'irredentismo adriatico_, 122.

Vivian (H.), his ferocity, 191.

Volosca, 73-4.

_Vorstoss in die Nordalbanischen Alpen_, quoted, 290.

Vukotić (Voivoda), his answer, 103.

Vuković (Admiral), his fate, 20 _et seq._

Westlake (Prof.), his _International Law_, 139.

Wied (Prince of), erstwhile Mpret, 276-7.
-- (Princess of), her ladies criticized, 288.

Wilson (President), 63, 92-3, 125, 138-9, 213-4.

Xenia (Princess), 103.

Yastrebow, the Russian authority, 287.

Yugoslavia, conditions after the War, 226.
-- her cohesion, 120, 229, 230, 249, 272.
-- and the future, 236-7, 398-9.

Zadar, reception of Italians, 35.
-- Schools at, 35.
-- and Treaty of Rapallo, 234, 236, 268-9, 385.
-- Wild doings at, 37-8.

Zagreb and the future, 398 _et seq._
-- and the stamps, 72.

_Zagreber Tagblatt_, 264-5.

Zanella (Prof.), 69, 217, 261 _et seq._

Zara, _see_ Zadar.

Zarić (Bishop), and Wilson, 91-2.

Zarić (Prof.), his removal, 169, 170.

Zena Beg, 282-3, 285.

Ziliotto (Dr.) of Zara, 36-7, 164-5.


[Illustration: The Map of Yugoslavia]


Fixed Issues

page 007--inserted a missing apostrophe after 'Italians'
page 009--typo fixed: changed 'weapoms' to 'weapons'
page 014--typo fixed: changed 'as' to 'a'
page 048--typo fixed: changed 'thay' to 'they'
page 054--typo fixed: changed 'hold' to 'held'
page 077--typo fixed: changed 'Corriera' to 'Corriere'
page 094--typo fixed: changed a comma to a period after 'repression'
page 094--typo fixed: changed a period to a comma after 'lend their men'
page 146--typo fixed: changed 'aproached' to 'approached'
page 147--typo fixed: changed 'permittep' to 'permitted'
page 172--removed an extra opening bracket in front of 'There are places'
page 181--typo fixed: changed 'If was' to 'It was'
page 189--typo fixed: changed 'Montengrins' to 'Montenegrins'
page 196--removed an extra opening quote in front of 'As for large'
page 197--removed an extra closing bracket after '100 lire'
page 209--typo fixed: inserted a missing period after 'per cent'
page 222--typo fixed: 'YUGLOSLAVIA' changed to 'YUGOSLAVIA'
page 317--typo fixed: changed 'irode' to 'rode'
page 343--typo fixed: changed 'Yulgosav' to 'Yugoslav'
page 371--typo fixed: changed 'persumably' to 'presumably'
page 377--typo fixed: changed a comma to a period after 'less regarded'
page 408--typo fixed: changed 'preservaiton' to 'preservation'
page 411--inserted a missing comma after 'Books'

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